Enhancing Critical Financing and Aid Effectiveness: A Call for Inclusive Support for Small Island Developing States

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

At the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Dr. Hon. Natalio D. Wheatley, delivered a compelling address during Interactive Dialogue 2, titled “Enhancing Critical Forms of Financing and Aid Effectiveness Through Collaborative Partnerships: A Conversation.”

In his opening remarks, Premier Wheatley emphasized the importance of the international community’s commitment to the mantra “Leave no one behind.” He highlighted the urgency of ensuring that no nation is excluded from efforts to build climate resilience and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Premier stressed that the essence of this conference is to ensure that SIDS are not left behind.

Despite being an Associate Member of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and part of the SIDS family, the British Virgin Islands faces significant challenges in accessing climate finance and development finance. Premier Wheatley pointed out the dire need for external budget support, stating, “Our needs are great and we do not receive any form of external budget support.”

During the conference, Associate Members convened to address this critical issue. Premier Wheatley noted that the British Virgin Islands and other Associate Members are often excluded from support due to their political status and per capita income, while their vulnerability remains inadequately considered by donors and Administering Powers.

Premier Wheatley underscored the shared vulnerabilities of Associate Members with other SIDS, including more frequent and powerful storms, sea-level rise, global inflation, and high borrowing costs. He called for concessional financing and grants to bridge the resource gap and emphasized the need for technical assistance due to limited government capacities.

To make the new SIDS Programme of Action meaningful, Premier Wheatley called for the international community’s support in providing access to climate finance. He highlighted the British Virgin Islands’ ongoing collaboration with the United Nations (UN) system through mechanisms such as the BVI-UN sustainable development forum and policy dialogues aimed at improving access to development finance.

However, Premier Wheatley pointed out the severe limitations UN agencies face in supporting Associate Members, despite their ongoing recovery needs following the devastation of two category five hurricanes in 2017. He advocated for the application of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) to Associate Members.

The Premier proposed the establishment of a specific UN forum for Associate Members on Sustainable Development to address their unique vulnerabilities and financing needs. He stressed the importance of such a platform in keeping the UN system engaged and ensuring that Associate Members are not left behind in achieving the SDGs.

In his closing remarks, Premier Wheatley expressed gratitude to the UN system for its ongoing support and urged the consideration of support measures for Associate Members of the UN Regional Commissions as part of the new SIDS Programme of Action. He called for inclusive access to climate finance and development finance based on vulnerability.

Premier Wheatley concluded, “I thank you.”

The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States continues to serve as a critical platform for addressing the unique challenges and needs of SIDS, ensuring that no nation is left behind in the pursuit of sustainable development and climate resilience.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua! We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.Contact us at [email protected]