Aruba: The Happy Island Committed to the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development

May 28, 2024

Aruba: The Happy Island Committed to the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development

Aruba, the happy island where turquoise waters and warm smiles are a way of life, is at a pivotal moment in its journey towards sustainable development. Senior government officials and national institutions are dedicated to assessing the country's progress against the 2030 Agenda. A recent visit by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative and experts highlighted the island's commitment to these shared goals and provided valuable reflections for the future.

Key discussions with Aruba's leadership, including the Governor, Prime Minister, members of Parliament, and several other Ministers, focused on critical areas such as digitalization, the promotion of the Blue Economy, and sustainable tourism. These areas are crucial laying the groundwork for long-term economic diversification, fostering job opportunities, and guaranteeing lasting resilience for Aruba.

A recent initiative led by the Government of Aruba and supported by UNDP reviewed progress and outlined next steps towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing valuable insights into the country’s progress and future priorities. The UNDP has been instrumental in providing technical support and strategic guidance to ensure that development initiatives are aligned with global standards and local needs.

The successful renovation of the historic building at the University of Aruba that will house the SISSTEM faculty (Sustainable Island Solutions through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a testament to the collaborative efforts between international partners and local stakeholders. This project, generously funded by the European Union, not only preserves Aruba’s cultural heritage but also enhances educational infrastructure, with the aim of empowering the next generation of scientists and professional in sustainable development. The strong ownership and satisfaction expressed by all partners underscore the importance of such collaborative initiatives in driving sustainable growth.

The UNDP has a long-standing commitment to fostering sustainable development in small island developing states (SIDS) like Aruba. Through initiatives such as the Blue Economy, the UNDP promotes sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and job’s creation, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. The UNDP's support for digital transformation is also crucial in modernizing economies and making them more resilient to global shocks.

Areas for future cooperation include enhancing national capacities for programmatic and operational implementation, further advancements in digital transformation, and initiatives within the Blue Economy and tourism sectors. These efforts aim to enhance Aruba's development goals and boost its resilience against global challenges.

Aruba's journey towards a sustainable and digitally advanced future is a collective effort that demands continuous collaboration and adaptability. By building on recent successes and tackling emerging challenges, Aruba has a stronger structure to work together with other SIDS in securing prosperous and resilient futures for all. The UNDP is delighted to be a partner in this journey, continuing to support Aruba and SIDS in general in its commitment to sustainable development and the global agenda.