BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Federation’s Prime Minister, Dr. Terrance, used his platform at the 77th United Nations General Assembly to draw attention to the challenges facing developing states.
In his inaugural address, Drew called on the Assembly not to meet for just political posturing but rather to commit to the multilateral cooperation that would benefit Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
For a very long time SIDS have been faced with challenges, not limited only to Climate Change, and they had used the Assembly to highlight their issues which often fall on deaf ears.
“For Small Island Developing States, and indeed vulnerable peoples everywhere, there can be no international security without climate security. This requires collective fidelity to multilateral action for our very survival. I am ready and I am sure that all of us are eager to build a better world through multilateral action, and uphold, with all our will and might, this sacred tenet of the United Nations.,” noted Dr. Drew.
The Prime Minister is confident that even though “geopolitics and great power competition is exacerbating conflict and the climate catastrophe”, there must come a point in time when the hard truth that, only through multilateralism, “will we force the global trajectory toward global peace, prosperity and sustainability”.
But even though they have, year over year, raised the issue of Climate Change and the threat it poses to SIDS, a number of countries have failed to live up to their promises.
Those SIDS are being threatened by rising sea level, coastal erosion and rising temperatures that have caused stronger storms.
“Every country on the planet, national populations have had to confront the reality of Climate Change. As our planet heats up, so too have the frustrations and impatience of the globe’s ordinary citizens, who feel they are losing the fight to make ends meet and secure the future of their children.
“Small Island Developing States and other developing nations experience a reality, plagued by this continuous existential threat. With the passage of every hurricane, every outbreak of war and every global food shortage, we all remain at risk of tipping the balance that we have striven to create over the years,” Drew explained.
Against that backdrop, he charged that it is not enough to just articulate the grim reality year after year, but rather “we must now look to act in ways that provide tailored responses to these vulnerabilities so as to foster true resilience and risk mitigation”.
The topic was again broached at the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland last year, but no firm determination on plans for the way forward was implemented, begging the question: “Where does the world go from here on Climate Change?”
“...I humbly urge countries to honor the financial commitments made following the COP26 to double contributions to adaptation financing by 2025. A delayed response to these commitments would further imperil our developing nations. Climate financing, resiliency and environmental conservation must be integrated into national development policies and must be at the forefront of our global development agenda,” Dr. Drew said.