Prime Minister Gaston Browne leads presentation of final report on the MVI to the United Nations

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Ambassador Luteru

Prime Minister Gaston Browne leads presentation of final report on the MVI to the United Nations

NEW YORK, 1st April, 2024…The UN General Assembly is now a significant step closer to the adoption of a Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) with the presentation of a final report to the United Nations.

The report is the culmination of over two-years of work led by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne and the former Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.

They were tasked by the President of the General Assembly with chairing a High Level Panel that dutifully responded to the mandate to develop a tool that would take into account the vulnerabilities of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The traditional criteria for measuring a country’s economic performance, like GDP, make it virtually impossible for many countries to access the support and resources from international financial institutions since they are deemed high income.

The MVI addresses this anomaly by providing a tool that soundly captures their vulnerabilities and their exposure to multiple crises by broadening the qualifying standards for development financing, including debt relief.

In presenting the report late last week, Prime Minister Browne expressed on behalf of the High Level Panel his deep sense of pride at being able to lead and contribute to an important process in addressing the crucial needs of small island developing states.

“We worked with a Panel of highly skilled and qualified individuals spanning both the technical and political realms of this issue. We are therefore pleased to officially present to the General Assembly the Panel’s Final Report,” Prime Minister Browne proudly declared.

“After more than thirty years of advocacy for a more comprehensive assessment of a country’s well-being, that moves beyond the confines of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, the UN has finally developed a sound international benchmark and we are pleased to have steered this ground breaking process,” he affirmed.

Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Ambassador Fatumanava Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru was full in his praise for Prime Minister Browne and Former Prime Minister Solberg for their leadership and the work of the High Level Panel.

“AOSIS is of the view that the way forward must be grounded in a collective appreciation of the merits and utility of an index, and work must continue to build on the Panel’s work, representing at all times, the current and future reality of vulnerable countries.

The governance arrangements should be agreed in earnest.

The good must never be at risk of the perfect. We must forge ahead; any delay risks our collective sustainable development,” Ambassador Luteru stated.

The United States, Australia, the European Union and other developed countries also remarked on the importance of the report and the need for the UN General Assembly to move to the next phase of the report.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative H.E. Ambassador Walton Webson and H.E. Ana Paula Zacarias of Portugal will immediately lead the UN General Assembly in an intergovernmental process in negotiating the implementation of the recommendations contained in the MVI report.

Their work is expected to conclude by July of this year, where the MVI will be adopted and move towards the next phase of implementation.

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