PM Douglas calls for a blueprint for the ‘Future We Want!’

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas; Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar; St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Kenney Anthony and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 22ND 2012 (CUOPM) – A call by St. Kitts and Nevis for all nations of the world to rise to the challenge and make a significant changes in their modus operandi without delay, if they are to have any chance of reversing the troubling effects that economic, social and environmental threats have had, are having, and will continue to have on small countries and economies.

Addressing the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio Janeiro, Brazil, late Friday afternoon, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. DenzilL. Douglas told world leaders that over the years, sustainable development have suffered from global political inertia.

He said there is a genuine need of a new approach.

“We are in genuine need of relief from the status quo. For countries like St. Kitts and Nevis, re-energizing the political will to develop and implement an action plan is not simply predictable semantics. It must address our unique vulnerabilities to national disasters, international instruments for highly indebted middle-income countries. It must address high levels of unemployment and pockets of poverty that can perpetuate crime and violence in our region. This plan of action must speak to our security, our stability, indeed, our very survival,” Dr. Douglas told thousands of delegates.

He urged that appropriate action be taken to ensure the implementation of those commitments that have already been made by developed nations, taking into account, the social, economic, and environment imperatives, carried out in conformity with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

“Mr. President, ensuring global sustainability is the inescapable responsibility of everyone gathered here today. And prevailing models of production and consumption are no-one’s friend. The time has come, therefore, for us to garner the multifaceted wherewithal to advance alternate models that make sustainable human settlements possible; conserve nature and our environment; and rein in climate change and its troubling consequences,” the St. Kitts and Nevis leader said.

Dr. Douglas said that achieving sustainable development will require a renewed commitment from developed partner countries and there is a clear need for developed nations to provide new, supplementary and concrete financial resources to support implementation strategies in developing countries.

“This is especially important in light of the volatile global economy and our nations’ ongoing vulnerability to climate change, natural disasters, and sea-level rise. Developed nations have already made specific pledges in terms of finance, technology transfer, and capacity building, and it is important that these pledges now be honored. Our implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions, our quest for sustainable development, and other key priorities depend on it,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who suggested that in order to maximize the impact of this conference, there should be established effective institutional frameworks at all levels to facilitate the implementation commitments that are made.

“We strongly encourage public and private sector partnerships, and we urge the participation of women, youth, and other groups in order to enhance effective environmental governance, and in order to strengthen the legal framework for coordinated responses to evolving threats,” said Dr. Douglas.

He asked how are SIDS to meet the adverse impact of environmental threats that are not of their making?

“International legal instruments, for example, must be translated into domestic laws. The public’s capacity to participate in sustainable development decision-making must be strengthened. There are other crucial aspects of capacity building that must be attended to. And the international community meeting commitments previously made, and which are key to SIDS’ ability to face environmental threats, would be indeed welcome,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

Calling for seriousness of intent, Dr. Douglas urged a demonstration of the capacity for serious and substantive action.

“The consequences of inaction for nations like mine as I have stated, would be multi-faceted, far-reaching, costly, and tragic. This we cannot afford. Let us together, then, ensure that Rio+20sets that standard for multilateral vision for enlightened self-interest, and action – on behalf not merely of one or two nations, but in the final analysis and at the end of the day, on behalf of the world. Let this be the blueprint for the “Future We Want!” the St. Kitts and Nevis leader said.

Prime Minister Douglas is accompanied to the conference by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Energy, the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin; Minister of Planning in the Nevis Island Administration, the Hon. Carlisle Powell; Director of Physical Planning and the Environment, Mr. Randolph Edmeade and Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Verna Morris.

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