Antigua PM Eyes High Impact Conference for Small Islands

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) is heading to Antigua and Barbuda later this month with “human survivability and protecting our planet” topping the agenda when it comes to containing climate change, according to the Caribbean nation’s Prime Minister.

This year’s conference will focus on “charting the course toward resilient prosperity” by assessing small States’ ability to reach the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In an exclusive interview earlier this month at UN Headquarters, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, told UN News that he hopes the conference will be a game-changer for formulating strategies to mitigate climate change, crushing debt, and other key issues that may be stunting small island development.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Gaston Browne: The issue of human development is very important for us and we’re now taking on the leadership of SIDS to help SIDS achieve resilient prosperity.

We have had to contend with a number of challenges during the last two decades, especially the last decade in which we have seen [many] exogenous shocks literally decimating our economies and damaging our infrastructure, our buildings, our homes.

Fundamentally, we want to make sure that we improve the living standards of people living in SIDS to ensure sustainability so that these countries are not as susceptible to the impact of these climate shocks.

Evidently, this cannot be done alone because SIDS have very limited financial and human resources, so we will be galvanizing support from various stakeholders to make sure that we can raise enough resources to help us adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change while building over time more prosperous communities so that people can enjoy acceptable living standards.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda talks to UN News ahead of the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) taking place there from 27-30 May 2024.

Gaston Browne: The key issue is funding and technology. Some of the cutting-edge technologies that are available, we don’t have access to them primarily because we don’t have the funding. That is why we continue to advocate for increased funding for SIDS, adaptation mitigation and loss and damage.

A low-carbon future is imperative for us. The vagaries and the instability associated with fossil fuel prices have created serious challenges for us.

SIDS have been pushing at the various Conference of the Parties (COPS) for the establishment of the loss and damage fund. We have made some headway within the last COP and I’m hoping that by the next COP later this year we will have the operationalisation of funds that will start to be made available to these SIDS so that they can acquire the technologies and also reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce their carbon footprint – to have enough funding to build out more resilient socioeconomic infrastructure so that future storms will not be as impactful as in the past.

Gaston Browne: A low-carbon future is imperative for us. The vagaries and the instability associated with fossil fuel prices have created serious challenges for us.

In the case of Antigua and Barbuda, we’re actually moving away from fossil fuels and transitioning to green technologies, including solar and wind.

/UN News Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.


Tags: technology , UN , climate change , international , Prime Minister , leadership , conference , antigua and barbuda , sustainable , infrastructure , sustainability , Sustainable development , Antigua , carbon footprint , fossil fuel , socioeconomic

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