Ambassador Webson advocates for urgent implementation of ABAS at first AOSIS meeting since SIDS4 

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Ambassador Webson advocates for urgent implementation of ABAS at first AOSIS meeting since SIDS4 

NEW YORK, 3rd July, 2024…Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Walton Webson joined the first meeting of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) yesterday, Tuesday 1st July, since Antigua and Barbuda hosted the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

The monthly meeting was held against the grim backdrop of despair as a powerful category five hurricane made landfall on the islands of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, mere hours before the meeting convened, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Hurricane Beryl cut a dpath across the Caribbean sea to Jamaica as a very powerful category 4, a stark reminder of the urgency confronting AOSIS in addressing all their pressing needs as Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

AOSIS Chair, Ambassador Fatumanava Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru, commended Antigua and Barbuda for its exceptional organization of the historic and successful SIDS4 conference. He emphasized that the focus must now swiftly shift to ensuring the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) achieves its goal of building safe and prosperous societies for all SIDS.

Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Ambassador Webson echoed Ambassador Luteru’s sentiments, urging AOSIS members to capitalize on the momentum generated by the Antigua and Barbuda conference. He reported ongoing high interest from major international partners in the Centre of Excellence, a key pillar of the ABAS outcome, with efforts now underway to fully operationalize the institution before year-end.

Ambassdor Webson is also advocating for a two-year framework to guide the monitoring and evaluation mechanism of the ABAS to ensure it holds steady in meeting the various goals and ambition that addresses the numerous challenges facing SIDS. 

In this connection, the Antiguan and Barbudan diplomat welcomed the commitment of support from key UN agencies including the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Office of the High Representative of Landlocked Developed Countries, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS). 

Their support of SIDS4 is expected to help accelerate the process in achieving the key outcomes as outlined in the ABAS. One of the key initiatives is the establishment of an Interagency Task Force that will help to manage the monitoring and evaluation framework and the overall implementation of the outcome document.

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