Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was among leaders from the Pacific, Caribbean and Africa, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (AIMS) regions who signed a historic sustainable energy and climate resilient treaty that is expected to significantly change the lives and destiny of over 20 million small islanders, for the better.
Led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, leaders from more than 45 countries raised their voices in unison and accepted responsibility for fulfilling the commitment to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy mechanism – SIDS DOCK.
The opening for signature of the historic SIDS DOCK Treaty – a SIDS-SIDS Initiative – was a major highlight of the first day of the United Nations (UN) Third International Conference on SIDS, taking place in Apia, Samoa, which will continue until September 4.
The unprecedented and unexpected number of Heads of State and Government present, sent a strong signal to the standing-room only audience, the SIDS population and the international community, demonstrating how deeply committed SIDS leaders are and that they all firmly believe that SIDS must, have and will take responsibility for charting the future of their countries towards a path that would see a total transformation of the SIDS economy away from fossil fuels, to that of one driven by low carbon technologies.
More than half the members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) were present for the signing of the historic treaty, witnessed by the SIDS DOCK partners Denmark, Japan and Austria, whose kind and generous support facilitated SIDS DOCK start-up activities. Also present were SIDS DOCK partners – the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Clinton Foundation.
Apart from Barbados, Belize, the Bahamas, Dominica, Cabo Verde, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Guinea Bissau, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles and Tuvalu signed the treaty.
The statute will remain open for signature in Apia, Samoa until September 5, and will reopen for signature in Belmopan, Belize, from September 6 until it enters into force. Belize is the host country for SIDS DOCK, with Samoa designated as the location for the Pacific regional office.
Meantime,Prime Minister Stuart met with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, on the sidelines of the conference.
They discussed the way forward since the adoption of the Barbados Programme of Action in 1994 and the priorities of SIDS in the ongoing Conference.
Ban conveyed his appreciation for Barbados’ leadership on all issues related to SIDS and exchanged views with the Barbadian leader on the impact of climate change on SIDS, the Green Climate Fund and the implementation of the outcome document of the SIDS Conference.