Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley has said that the people of the Virgin Islands are at the heart of the National Sustainable Development Plan that is to be launched next week.
The Premier said the plan that will be launched by the Government of the Virgin Islands on Monday, 27th February, reinforces a balanced, people-centred Territory that engenders strong governmental institutions, underpinned by sustainable economic, environmental, and social development.
“I am appreciative that at this juncture in our history as a people, we are actively engaging in an agenda for a more inclusive society, that will not only serve our generation, but generations to come,” the Premier said. He added, “Sustainable development in our economy, our environment, and in our social framework, is a catalyst for devising the future we want to create.”
The plan which will be launched under the theme, “Vision 2036: Building a Sustainable Virgin Islands” proposes six overarching goals that act as guiding principles for the National Sustainable Development Plan. They seek to safeguard and promote the following: Health and Wellness; Education and Learning; Economy; Infrastructure; Good Governance; and the Environment.
The document was formulated after extensive consultation with the public, including the Virgin Islands diaspora, and local and international stakeholders across sectors and subsectors. After more than 70 of these consultations, the insight, recommendations and viewpoints were strategically utilised to influence the conceptualisation and execution of the plan.
“The people of the Virgin Islands can claim ownership of this plan. It was essentially written by the people who will be the ones to bring it into reality, for it was crafted around their vision for themselves and the Virgin Islands,” Premier Wheatley said.
The Premier also expressed his gratitude to Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and their Head Consultant Dr. June Soomer for their support and technical assistance in the development of the National Development Sustainable Plan. Her team was instrumental in ensuring that the interests of the private sector, the financial services, farmers, fisher folk, and members of civil society, tourism sector, and sports personnel were adequately represented.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains resolute in the promotion of the overall development of the Territory through its robust sustainable development agenda.