Tuesday 22nd May, 2018 –The Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment has appealed to his colleagues in Small Island Developing States to adopt a position where those who pollute should pay for damages that result from such a practice.
Minister Molwyn Joseph who is attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland was at the time speaking to his colleagues from Small island Developing States in a ministerial consultation on the WHO’s Special Initiative on Climate Change and health in SIDS.
Minister Joseph said those who pollute should pay the cost for repairing the damage caused by vicious storms that are coming with consistent regularity. He urged his colleagues to “Fight for Climate Justice”.
Minister Joseph’s statement ‘Fight for Climate Justice’ was reportedly received with much enthusiasm by persons present including Ministers of Health from the Cook Islands, Seychelles, Maldives, the Caribbean and other Small Island Developing States. Other SIDS Ministers have reportedly identified with Antigua and Barbuda’s call for the bold and aggressive approach to climate change and health.
Present at the meeting were the two most senior officials of the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, and Dr. Carissa Eteinne. Dr. Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization recommended collaboration between the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean region on climate change and health. This lead to an immediate meeting between Caribbean and Pacific Ministers of Health who discussed and agreed in principle on establishing a platform for future collaboration on climate change and health for SIDS.
Other interventions from Minister Joseph at the World Health Assembly will be on strategic priority matters such as access to medicines and vaccines, non-communicable diseases and the International Health Regulations.