Home » Young Antigua and Barbuda diplomat elected Vice-President of major United Nations body

Young Antigua and Barbuda diplomat elected Vice-President of major United Nations body

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One of the younger members of the Antigua and Barbuda mission to the United

Nations – Asha Challenger – has been elected to one of the important United

Nations committees working towards ending plastic pollution worldwide.

A press release from the mission stated, First Secretary Challenger has been

elected by acclamation to the position of Vice President of the Intergovernmental

Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, which is seeking to develop a binding

legal agreement that will see to the end of plastic pollution across the globe.

According to the release, she serves in this role on behalf of Small Island

Developing States (SIDS) and has also been tasked with the responsibilities of

Rapporteur for the Committee.

“Challenger won unanimous approval for the post during the second session of the

INC which concluded in Paris, France on Friday with a clear mandate for it to

begin work on preparing a draft treaty ahead of its next session set to take place in

Nairobi, Kenya, this November.

“Antigua and Barbuda has been at the vanguard of the effort to make the oceans

free of plastic pollution and the dreaded consequences it is bringing to the health

and economic welfare of island nations in the Caribbean and around the world. In

2016, Antigua and Barbuda imposed a ban on the use of single-use plastics giving

it an influential voice on the issue internationally, the media release stated.

It noted that in June 2020, on the occasion of World Ocean Day, it joined with

Norway and the Maldives to launch the Group of Friends to Combat Plastic

Pollution, seeking to accelerate the push for action on bringing an end to the crisis.

“Our marine ecosystems which are so vital for our survival will literally suffocate

if we fail to act now,” Ms. Challenger acknowledged.


“There’s a growing sense of optimism that we are moving in the right direction in

relieving our planet from an impending crisis,” she further said in reflecting on the

outcome of last week’s meeting while expressing gratitude to her colleagues and

peers for reposing their confidence in her to serve as Vice President of INC.

Challenger joined the Antigua and Barbuda Mission to the United Nations in New

York in 2016 and also covers the high seas treaty and international security and

disarmament matters. She has also served as Lead Oceans Negotiator for the

Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS).

The Antigua and Barbuda delegation to the Paris meeting also included Dr. Linroy

Christian, Director of the Analytical Services Division, and Indira James-Henry,

Environmental Implementation Coordinator. Minister of Health and the

Environment Sir Molwyn Joseph represented the country at the high-level

meetings earlier.

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