Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has described his recent visit to the United Nations (UN) as monumental, as it was the most significant thus far with respect to the tangible steps toward addressing the very real threat of climate change.
Minister Brantley participated in the formal launch of the SIDS Dock Facility which serves as a platform for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to access funding for projects in renewable energy at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday (September 30th).
“The purpose of the meeting was to launch SIDS Dock as an official agency to be based in Belize for the specific purpose of looking at small islands developing states,” said Minister Brantley. “We are also looking at vulnerabilities to climate change and seeking to develop a framework and a dedicated agency to look at issues of fossil fuel consumption and the cost of energy.”
Minister Brantley said developments such as these allow Caribbean countries the opportunity to have a forum, to have a voice, and to ensure that the larger countries of the world appreciate that their developmental agenda is now causing great harm globally. He said with the SIDS Dock, CARICOM member states now have a dedicated agency, an arm of the UN that is dedicated to the peculiar need of renewable energy.
Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, during his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, (October 2nd) spoke about the SIDS Dock initiative.
“My delegation welcomes the establishment of the SIDS Dock Facility which will serve as a clearing house for the implementation of climate related projects in SIDS,” Dr. Harris stated. “We acknowledge the assistance provided by our partners in development and are convinced that working closely with them to build and forge effective and meaningful partnerships will accelerate the pathway to achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions.”
Honourable Brantley stated that the SIDS Dock is a monumental achievement for the Caribbean region and Small Island developing states.
“We are hoping that this new development in the UN will be a springboard for the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 which occurs in Paris in December,” he said. “During the COP, the world will be asked to come to an agreement in relation to climate change and ocean temperature.”
The Foreign Minister said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as other CARICOM member states, recognise as a region and for SIDS that almost a very small change can lead to an existential threat.