President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Charles Angelo Savarin has reported to the United Nations that the island has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
President Savarin, in his address to the 69th UN General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, September 26, 2014 said fifteen years after the Millennium Declaration, only a few in the developing world had registered tangible gains.
The President added that the majority of these countries continue to wait for the promised improvements in their living conditions.
“However, Dominica has been able to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals, with notable progress in reducing poverty, improving access to education, ensuring environmental sustainability and building strong bilateral and multilateral partnerships,” President Savarin said.
He noted that Dominica’s achievements in education had surpassed the Goals’ targets, and the country could now boast universal access at the early childhood, primary and secondary school levels. Access to post-secondary education was also available to all secondary school graduates.
President Savarin said Dominica had always been guided by the principle of sustainable use of its national resources and protection of its physical environment, which was why it was called “the Nature Island of the Caribbean”.
In its efforts to ensure environmental sustainability and rid the island of reliance on fossil fuels, Dominica has invested in renewable energy, and today, about 20 per cent of the island’s electricity needs are met from “clean” hydropower.
So far, the country had invested over $20 million in it geothermal resources, and production results indicated that the geothermal reservoir had capacity to generate sufficient electricity for domestic consumption.
Despite achievements, however, the world was a long way from where it aspired to be, he said.
The spectre of the deadly Ebola disease and the scourge of HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases had significant potential impacts and threatened the gains made so far by Small Island Developing States.
President Savarin said these existing challenges called for global action to protect those gains.