In order to achieve acceptable levels of sustainable development, there needs to be an urgent "radical review" of economic, social, cultural and political policies.

This was underscored by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, as he delivered the opening remarks at the Regional Consultation on the Monitoring of Poverty and the Millennium Goals, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, earlier today.

Minister Sinckler stated: "…in spite of all of the resources that we have made available and all of the initiatives that we have implemented, we need seriously to look at policies within the public and private sectors and among the wider civil society as to how to address this juggernaut of poor persons across communities in this region.

"What we have done in the past, worked in the past, what we are doing now, seems not to be working as well as we would like it to. It, therefore, means that a new process of democratisation, inclusion and indeed participation of all of our people in the mainstream of economic, social and cultural activities is absolutely critical at this juncture."

The Social Care Minister urged members of both the local and regional delegation to explore new ways of influencing persons in policy making positions to re-examine the way in which public policy is designed.

"Remember that it is the engine of public policy that will secure for us more gains in poverty reduction, and that you have to act as agents, not the tool kit. The Toolkit will speak to those who read it, but it will not advocate to those that matter.?? It is the agents who carry the tool kit that will make the difference," Mr. Sinckler stressed.

The consultation, which will end tomorrow, Thursday, September 16, aims to assess the country’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It further serves to present the Draft Toolkit for Poverty and Sustainable Development Monitoring and receive input for its finalisation.????

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