Prime Minister Browne Reflects on Antigua and Barbuda’s Proud Moment at SIDS 4

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Together We Shine: Our Success in Hosting SIDS 4”

On the Occasion of the Successful Hosting ofthe 4th United Nations Conference on Small Island States (SIDS 4)

My Fellow Antiguans and Barbudans,Today, I address you with a heart overflowing with pride and gratitude.

This past week, our beloved nation not only made history by hosting the 4th United Nations Conference on Small Island States (SIDS4), but also by demonstrating to the world the boundless capabilities of our united people.

We welcomed over 5,000 delegates to our shores from around the globe, an endeavour that many sceptics claimed was beyond our reach.

They doubted our capacity, questioned our readiness, and wondered at our ability to manage such a monumental event.

Yet, you, the people of Antigua and Barbuda, have proven them profoundly wrong.

With unwavering determination and exemplary commitment, you have showcased the indomitable spirit and resilience of our small nation.

Our taxi drivers, volunteer workers, airport staff, protocol officers, police force, public servants, medical officers, hotel staff, and every citizen played a pivotal role.

You provided unmatched hospitality and ensured the safety and comfort of our esteemed guests.

Not a single complaint of note was lodged – a testament to your dedication and patriotism.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Hon. Gaston Browne connects with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at the closing of SIDS Global Business Network Forum

As your Prime Minister, I am not only proud but deeply moved by the spirit of unity and excellence you have demonstrated.

Together, we have shown that Antigua and Barbuda can rise to the greatest challenges and perform to the highest standards.

Our leadership during this conference has echoed across continents.

We have been praised -even by representatives of the G7 countries – for our steadfast advocacy for the rights of small island states.

Our strong stance and persistent efforts have not only been evident in international forums like the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) but also at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, where, on the eve of the SIDS 4 Conference, we secured a landmark unanimous decision in favour of our climate change advocacy.

This success is not mine alone – it is primarily yours.It is the product of your resilience and the vibrant spirit that distinguishes our nation as special when we are faced with circumstances that are challenging.

The discussions at SIDS 4 have set the stage for significant global change, registering and emphasizing the urgent need for CO2 emission reductions, increased resilience against climate impacts, and the critical importance of debt restructuring and accessible concessional financing.

With these achievements, we have firmly positioned Antigua and Barbuda on a new trajectory of global respect and influence.

We will go forward from our small, but treasured small nation, to the centres of power to unlock the doors that have barred our access to more financing on better terms to catapult our nation into a brighter future.

The road ahead will not be easy; our battles will be hard fought; but we have shown our mettle.

We will not acquiesce; we will not surrender.We will march onwards and upwards in pursuit of the rights, justice and happiness to which we are entitled.

Therefore, with a heart filled with immense gratitude and boundless pride, I thank each and every one of you.

You have accomplished a monumental task with grace and with competence that inspires profound respect.

We may be a small country, but we are mighty in our unity and determination.

In the words of Galatians, chapter 6 verse 9:“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Let us continue to move forward together, with our heads held high, determined to scale the highest heights of achievement, regardless of our size.

We are Antigua and Barbuda – small, yes… but also strong, steadfast, and full of courage.

May Almighty God continue to bless our beloved nation.Thank you all.

Hon Gaston BrownePrime Minister

Prime Minister Gaston Browne delivering opening remarks at SIDS 4 in Antigua & Barbuda

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