Once referred to as the "gem of the Caribbean", the island of Barbados is 166.4 square miles, with a population of 286,641 persons. Barbados is the hub for the United Nations Multi-Country Office (MCO) for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and has enjoyed a lasting partnership of over 40 years with the UN, which is vital considering the island's leading role in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Government of Barbados remains committed to multilateralism and to the the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), having partnered with several UN agencies, over the years, to implement initiatives that promote social protection, gender equality, food security and decent work, to name a few. Barbados is also leading in terms of its progress in the area of the Blue Economy, having been the first Government in the region to establish a Ministry of Maritime Affairs.
- On 5 August, 2020, Barbados signed an agreement to host the 15th UNCTAD quadrennial conference in April 2021. It is the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean that will host the major global event as part of the of the UN’s “Decade of Action" to deliver on the SDGs. It will gather the organization’s 195 member states. On 16 July, 2020, Barbados presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to report its progress on SDG implementation.
- On 23 September 2020, launched the Core Diagnostic Instrument (CODI) , a tool used to assess and optimize Barbados' social protection system as part of the UN Joint SDG Fund for Social Protection. This programme is implemented with support of ILO, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP and UN Women.
- In 2019, Barbados hosted the inaugural Small Island Future Fest in partnership with the United Nations Sub-Regional Office, the Future Centre Trust and the Blue Green Initiative. The festival focused on promoting sustainable development challenges, issues and solutions.
- On 27 February 2013, Barbados ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- On 2 January, 2002, Secretary General Kofi Anan, opened the United Nations House, which is the Multi-Country office headquarters for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
- During the period 25 April to 6 May 1991, Barbados hosted the historic UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to address the special challenges facing SIDS from the impacts of climate change. 125 States and territories participated in the conference, 46 of which were Small Island Developing States and territories.
- In July 2020, the United Nations Development System successfully pitched and received approval for a USD 1.1M joint project, to help three regional governments, including the Government of Barbados, to develop financing strategies in the Blue Economy and creating and enabling framework for SDG Investment. This project is being implemented UNDP, FAO and UNEP.