The GraceKennedy Foundation will partner this year with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to present its annual public lecture which will focus attention on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The lecture, which will take place on September 30 at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom, will be delivered by the United Nations Development Programme’s Deputy Resident Representative for Suriname, Dr Margaret Jones Williams, who will present to the online audience from her base in Paramaribo.

This year’s lecture is entitled The Decade of Action Begins – The Sustainable Development Goals Leaving No One Behind.
“I am eager to present on the SDGs, to raise awareness of their importance and to open up the discussion on how important the SDGs are for Small Island Developing States and the Caribbean. Despite middle-income status, many Caribbean nations still face development challenges and these are currently being exacerbated by the global pandemic,” explained Dr Jones Williams, in discussing her plans for the lecture.
A Jamaican, Dr Jones Williams is an experienced environment and development professional with over 30 years of work in the private and public sector, civil society, academia and with UNDP. She has extensive experience in policy preparation and advisory services, project management, lecturing and teaching, resource mobilization, and leading multi-disciplinary teams.

Adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, the SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. There are 17 SDGs, each of which are broad in scope yet interdependent, and which aim to address various environmental, social and development challenges facing the world today. The implementation of the goals is being led by the UNDP.

For over 30 years, the GraceKennedy Foundation Annual Public Lecture has established a solid reputation as a valuable source of intellectual discourse which critically examines topical national and regional issues. Past lectures have provided insight on a broad range of themes including culture, politics, gender affairs, the Jamaican family, food and nutrition, voluntarism, technology, sports and the environment. Copies of past lectures are available online at

This year, the annual lecture will be presented online only due to restrictions on public gatherings associated with COVID-19. For more information and to register, log on to