It is time Small Island Developing States (SIDS) start seeing the fruits of their labour from discussions at SIDS meetings.
This assertion was made recently by Minister of the Environment and Drainage Dr Denis Lowe ahead of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States slated for Apia Samoa in September.
“The whole SIDS arrangement is becoming a symbolism in the context of the global conversation and, the progress that is to be made is not happening,” he charged, pointing to the fact that the same issues were discussed at every meeting.
Dr Lowe added: “We need to start preparing here and start lobbying developed countries once we can start the process. Canada, Great Britain, the European Union, all look to Barbados for support on their issues [and] we need to work with the big powers to get our issues pushed.”
He stressed that SIDS countries need to go to Samoa to have their issues articulated and placed on the agenda.
Environment Education Officer in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Donna King-Brathwaite explained that sustainable development goals would be high on the agenda at the Samoa Conference and negotiations for that were expected to start later this year.
“The focus of the conference will be on meaningful and sustainable partnerships. For Barbados it will be food security, non-communicable diseases, sustainable economic development, including the green economy and climate change adaptation,” she said.
She added that there was a desire to advance the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action and focus on the implementation of policies outlined in that document. “We do not want to lose out on the SIDS agenda,” King-Brathwaite stressed.