Tuesday 22nd May, 2018 –Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration, Hon. E.P Chet Greene, has credited mobilization and advocacy of the grouping of nations organized as the United Nations Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) for bringing to the forefront the concerns of vulnerable nations.
Minister Greene made the remarks while addressing delegates attending the United Nations Financing the Resilience of SIDS conference taking place here in Antigua.
Minister Greene told participants of the conference they are here for the betterment of small islands, to put their minds together and to formulate actionable plans that will result in financing resilience. As unified SIDS, Minister Greene said they have launched and promoted remarkable initiatives that have now shaped the global agenda.
According to the foreign affairs minister it was the sustained campaign of small islands nations that helped create the Paris Climate Change accord as well as other agreements such as the Barbados Plan of Action for Small Island States, the Mauritius Strategy for the further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS and the Samoa Pathway.
“Our leadership as SIDS has helped to create a greener earth, a fairer global economy and a thrust towards inclusive globalization. Our geography, our size and our vulnerability have placed us as the natural gatekeepers of Mother Earth and the voice of reason for many in the multilateral affairs,” Greene stated.
He said the destruction of several islands across the Caribbean by powerful hurricanes last year and the destruction in the Pacific Islands earlier this year have created a backdrop against which the conference takes on added significance and its results that more urgent.
Minister Greene said he received a mandate from Prime Minister, Hon. Gaston Browne, to ensure that Antigua and Barbuda continues to play an important role within the community of small states and he sees the conference as the start of many initiatives to come.