Minister Cox delivers statement virtually at the 59th Session of the Commission for Social Development on the theme: “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”

Port-of-Spain --- Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox, presented on Day 4 of the fifty-ninth (59th) session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD), which is taking place virtually over the period February 8th to 17th  2021. The Commission serves as the main United Nations forum for an intensified global dialogue on social development issues and contributes to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Consequently, the priority theme for the session is entitled, “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”.

Minister Cox’s participation followed her recent contributions at the XII Ministerial Forum for Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was jointly hosted in January by the UNDP, ECLAC and the Government of Colombia, under a complementary theme.  

Aimed at promoting the need to strengthen the collaboration amongst global networks, as a means of closing the digital divide, the Session also provides the opportunity for nations to share their best practices and experiences with each other, as all societies seek sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During Minister Cox’s presentation, she expressed that the 59th session allowed her the opportunity to envision a socially just transition to sustainable development through continued reliance on digital technologies. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago had already commenced the implementation of several core projects towards the modernisation of this country’s delivery of social services, through a more strategic use of information communication technologies (ICT) to achieve the fostering of social inclusion and improvement in the effectiveness of payment processes.

Minister Cox was happy to indicate that our National ICT Policy has allowed the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services to embark on a number of key initiatives, in support of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and to collaborate with key stakeholders to achieve these goals. Some of these initiatives include the on-going collaboration with the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, as it relates to the Universal Service Initiative and accessibility to information and independent living by the community of persons with disabilities; provision of specially outfitted mobile devices for the visually and hearing impaired; provision of free WiFi services on public transportation, transportation hubs, libraries and public spaces; provision of kiosks in strategically located places for persons to access information on all government services and lastly, the establishment of an Integrated Social Enterprise Management System (ISEMS) / Social Services Client Management System, a solution to enable a seamless administration of social services across multiple agents in the social sector. This has allowed for more effective case management to help, empower and transform the lives of social welfare clients.

As the lead agency in the social sector, charged with the mandate of providing quality social services to transform lives, Minister Cox highlighted to the esteemed panel, that there is need for an end to the globalisation of indifference and the hyperinflation of the individual, so that together, we can reorganise the way in which we live and choose what is most beneficial to all persons.

 

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