UNDP Supports a Centre of Excellence in Aruba

The project “Towards Creating a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in Aruba” commonly called the Aruba Centre of Excellence (COE), aims to leverage Aruba’s technical expertise and experience in sustainable development for strengthening innovation and resilience among Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Designed over a two year project cycle, the outcomes include: hosting a three day inaugural training on Sustainable Development Roadmaps for SIDS; developing a virtual platform for knowledge exchange; conducting in-country missions to seven SIDS to provide technical support; and developing knowledge products to support replication and the up scaling of documented best practices. Upon its completion, the foundation elements for the COE as well as a hub for expertise on sustainable development would have been established.

In October 2015, the COE project document was officially signed by UNDP and the Government of Aruba. The project’s logo was unveiled and the project board convened at the P3A Conference which was held in Aruba in March 2016. At the conference, the COE was endorsed by ten Permanent Representatives as well as many private and public sector representatives. Championed by the Prime Minister of Aruba, Michiel Godfried Eman, the project has garnered significant recognition internationally, with many countries expressing interest in adding value to the project.

Through this platform, South-South Cooperation is encouraged for exchanging knowledge on sustainable practices. The areas that will be highlighted initially for this exchange are: Energy, Tourism, Public-private partnerships and Social Adoption. Social Adoption is a key ingredient for the success and implementation of sustainable best practices. In partnership with UNDP, University of Aruba and Caribbean Branch Office for the Organization of Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the Government of Aruba is strengthening the country’s capacity to export its lessons learned, information and collective know-how on sustainable development in the context of a SIDS, vulnerable to the impacts of economic and environmental shocks.

Given the common challenges SIDS face across the world on a daily basis, including those from climate change, it is critical that experiences and practices be shared between countries to ensure sustainable development for all. This project will therefore establish a foundation platform to facilitate this level of engagement.

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