The importance of the United Nations to international peace, stability and quality of life for people around the world will be in the spotlight in Barbados late next year, if Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has her way.
She signalled her intention to make the 75th-anniversary celebrations of the UN a major event in Barbados at the end of what is expected to be a historic hosting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) here, when she addressed a group of senior officials of that body in Nairobi, Kenya today.
“We are not the site of a global UN headquarters, but we have a UN House that Kofi Annan opened for us at the turn of the millennium,” she said. “And in fact, he himself delivered some remarks that Barbadians have become very fond of, an inspiration to us all, when he said that we were a country that punches above our weight as a small nation.
“That continues to be an inspiration for most of our people because we believe that size should not determine worth or value, and to that extent, that combined with our other philosophy that we will be friends of all and satellites of none has guided us on a principle-based journey as an independent nation.
“That is why we are here in Kenya trying to forge a destiny that is not created by the pages of history but is going to be forged in our own deliberate efforts to shape for our people a new future based on partnerships across East to West rather than simply North to South…”
She added: “We will also have the honour of assuming the presidency of UNCTAD and Barbados will become the smallest ever nation to host UNCTAD, when we host UNCTAD 15 from October 18 to 23… What is of significance is that we finish on October 23 and I don’t need to tell you what October 24, 2020, is – it is the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and we hope therefore that we can have a massive celebration with the guests.”
According to the Prime Minister, Barbados intends to send a message to the world, “especially at this time in the affairs of mankind,” on the importance of multilateralism, diversity, tolerance and “all of the other things we fought for in two world wars, which ought to have been settled, only to raise their ugly heads again to cause the likelihood of instability among the people of the world”.
Before planting a tree on the compound of the largest United Nations facility in the world, Ms Mottley also warned of the importance of tackling the climate crisis, while outlining its impact on small countries like Barbados. (PMO)