Diplomat Selwin Hart has come in for high praise from his old boss – Prime Minister Mia Mottley – as he takes up an appointment as a United Nations Assistant Secretary General on climate action.
The appointment was announced by the UN on Tuesday.
Hart is now a Special Advisor to UN Secretary General António Guterres and a top-level member of the UN’s Climate Action Team.
Hart, who is currently the Executive Director for the Caribbean region at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will ensure delivery of the Secretary General priorities on climate change in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Addressing the IDB’s ninth annual consultation of Caribbean governors forum at the Hilton Resort on Thursday evening, IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno described Hart as a “fantastic partner and a great advocate for the Caribbean”.
Moreno said: “Selwin is… always reminding us how important it is for a bank the size the IDB to never lose site of this great region, and I want to thank you for that, Selwin.
“You will be missed by me and many of my colleagues, but we know we have you in the right place at the right time to remind the Secretary General and that small bureaucracy at the UN of how important the IDB is for this region.”
Mottley said she was feeling proud of his achievement, saying while the IDB was “losing a good man, we are gaining a good champion in the fight against the climate crisis”.
She added: “Selwin Hart has been a distinguished Barbadian in the defense of the interest of the Caribbean Community.
“He has represented us within the halls of this bank with distinction.
“We have not yet seen the best that he has to offer.”
She declaired that his ability and experience made for a “deadly combination” for success.
“The island states of the Caribbean now have a voice at the table of the global community to defend our interest, to articulate our vulnerabilities and to require consistently and insistently, the kind of assistance and financing that the global community is yet to put up,” said Mottley, while pledging the support of CARICOM “in every and any way”.
Throughout his career, Hart has served in several leadership positions on climate action. He was previously Barbados’ Ambassador to the US and the Organization of American States and Director of the Director of the OAS secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team.