Description of project

The United Nations and the wider international community is engaged in a global process to develop a set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the overarching global development framework after 2015.  Related to this, the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) was held in Samoa in September 2014 to reflect on what progress SIDS have made on sustainable development over the past twenty years and what are the current priorities.

CANARI is working to influence the post-2015 and SIDS policy processes through its role as a member of the Independent Research Forum (IRF2015), a collaboration of 11 international research institutions providing critical thinking, integrated analysis and awareness raising for a post-2015 development agenda.

As part of this work, CANARI is supporting Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States and other Caribbean stakeholders to identify regional priorities and effectively negotiate these in the post-2015 and SIDS global sustainable development process.

For more information please see the webpage of the IRF2015’s and the concept for CANARI’s work in the Caribbean for 2014.


  • Small countries, big voice? CANARI documented the action research and learning process in which it sought to support Caribbean countries in achieving strong negotiating positions in the global sustainable development initiatives taking place in 2014-2015. See here for case study: Lessons learned from Caribbean experience in the post-2015 negotiation process.
  • Caribbean strategic position on sustainable development in the context of the post-2015 global agenda on sustainable development: As they take part in the various processes related to the post-2015 global sustainable development initiatives, Caribbean governments have articulated their own vision for development. CANARI has been able to distil a coherent Caribbean sustainable development strategy that can help guide Caribbean negotiators. See here for the paper on: Instilling resilience in economic, natural, social and political systems.
  • The SAMOA Pathway produced out of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) documents the current sustainable development priorities for SIDS and modalities for accelerated implementation. CANARI will be assessing how priorities reflected in this document, as well as those expressed in discussions at the Conference and in Caribbean regional and national policies, can be effectively addressed in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Key activities and results

  • Caribbean regional workshop with sustainable development experts: In May 2014 CANARI facilitated a two-day workshop with experts on sustainable development from across the Caribbean to contribute technical input to development of a strong and coherent Caribbean position on sustainable development priorities for use both in global policy processes and for achieving real sustainable development results in the Caribbean.
  • Informal retreat with CARICOM Missions in New York: In April 2014 CANARI facilitated an informal retreat for representatives of CARICOM Missions in New York working on the post-2015 agenda, hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Mission. This provided technical support for refining CARICOM positions on goals and targets as input in the United Nations Open Working Group (OWG) – the intergovernmental working group tasked by the Rio+20 Conference to design the SDGs.
  • Global informal retreats for Member States: CANARI is co-facilitating the series of IRF2015 informal retreats for Member States on key technical issues such as rationalising the transition from MDGs to SDGs, the various goal sets being proposed, universality and differentiation, developing an integrated goal framework, selecting priority goals and targets, the global partnership and financing for sustainable development.

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  • Blogs from Samoa SIDS conference and Major Groups statement: In September 2014 CANARI participated in the Samoa SIDS Conference. A series of blogs highlight key issues emerging from the plenary discussions and side events on Renewable energy for economic development in the CaribbeanAbsurd, unrealistic, indifferent and criminal global economics., The need for greater civil society involvement and Resilience. CANARI also participated in the pre-Conference Major Groups Forum as a member of the NGO Major Group. Based on discussions at their Forum, Major Groups produced an outcome document which was presented to the plenary at the Conference.
  • Civil society priorities in Trinidad and Tobago: In August 2014 CANARI facilitated a national consultation with 23 leading civil society organisations in Trinidad and Tobago and produced a report  on civil society priorities for the SIDS Conference in Samoa.
  • Caribbean webinars on priorities on key issues for sustainable development: CANARI held a series of webinars in May and June 2014 to refine sustainable development priorities for the Caribbean and provide technical input to contribute to a Caribbean position in the development of post-2015 SDGs and for the SIDS Conference in Samoa. Participants were from for Caribbean stakeholders from civil society, academia, government and inter-governmental technical agencies. The webinar reports highlight Caribbean priorities for: conservation of marine resources, oceans and seasclimate change and disaster risk reductioneconomic development; and biodiversity.


Recent news and blogs

  • How can small states with limited resources have an effective voice in the post-2015 negotiations? The Caribbean experience in Rio in 1992 tells us that regional collaboration is key. Find out more in this blog highlighting lessons for effective negotiation on the post-2015 agenda from early experiences with environmental diplomacy in the Caribbean
  • Highlights from Samoa: CANARI’s Executive Director blogged from the Third International Conference on SIDS held in Samoa in September 2014 on:
  • A framework for assessing possible sustainable development goals and targets: The Independent Research Forum (IRF2015) has developed a practical tool for selecting and designing goals and targets for the post‐2015 sustainable development agenda currently being prepared in the United Nations. See here for more.
  • Meeting on Caribbean sustainable development priorities: At a regional meeting held in May 2014, CARICOM sustainable development experts emphasised that the new international development framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) needs to reflect Caribbean priorities in order to be relevant, useful and applicable in countries in the region. These priorities include economic development, poverty reduction, building resilience to climate change and natural disasters, and food, water and energy security. For more information, see here for news release.


Supporting change for a sustainable future

Author(s): IRF2015

The new global agenda for sustainable development provides a crucial opportunity to address the problems of poverty, inequality, unsustainable natural resource use and climate change.

Assessing the Open Working Group on SDGs Outcome Document: Key Messages

Author(s): IRF2015

An initial assessment from IRF2015 of the Outcome Document of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals.

 Grounding Post-2015 Frameworks in Regional, National and Local Contexts

Author(s): Tom Bigg, IIED

The success of the post-2015 development framework will ultimately depend on how effectively it can be applied across wide-ranging social, economic and political contexts.

 Grounding post-2015 frameworks in bottom-up action learning

Author(s): Prepared for the IRF by Tighe Geoghegan

The post-2015 development framework’s success will ultimately depend on how effectively it can be applied across wide-ranging social, economic and political contexts.

 Caribbean SIDS: A civil society perspective on priorities for sustainable development

Author(s): Nicole Leotaud and Anna Hadeed, CANARI

Developing and strengthening partnerships with SIDS civil society actors is a critical strategy to achieve a coordinated and effective approach to sustainable development in SIDS.

Post-2015: Framing a New Approach to Sustainable Development

Author(s): Prepared for the IRF by Tighe Geoghegan

This briefing note offers principles and approaches for integrating economic, social, and environmental sustainability and equity in a new post-2015 development agenda.

Instilling Resilience in Economic, Natural, Social and Political Systems

Author(s): Prepared for the IRF by Tighe Geoghegan

This briefing paper provides an outline of a Caribbean strategic position on sustainable develpment in the context of the post-2015 global agenda on sustainable development. Drawing on the statements made by Caribbean governments to the Open Working Group on the SDGs and in preparatory meetings for the SIDS conference in Samoa.

For more information, contact Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director [email protected]

See related work under CANARI’s Communication and Green Economy programmes.