Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 20, 2023 (ZIZ Newsroom): On Wednesday, Minister of Sustainable Development Hon. Joyelle Clarke joined the conversation at the 2023 hosting of the Island Finance Forum which focuses on the Evolution of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG Agenda) The Future of Sustainable Development Policy.
At the forum , development partners, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs and other cross sector experts from around the world, discussed the current challenges and opportunities of mobilizing financing for inclusive and sustainable development.
Speaking virtually, Minister Clarke outlined the difficulties faced by small island developing states as they move toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“The reality is the Caribbean states, we will continue to deal with and grapple with the three C’s reality: the climate crisis, COVID-19 recovery and conflict, which has led to increasing scarcity of goods and an increasing cost of global commodities, in particular fuel,” she said. “Another reality is how expensive it will be to achieve the SDGs by 2030.Some estimates are in the range of five to $7 trillion. An injection of five to $7 trillion for countries to achieve the SDGs.”
She spoke of the steps taken by St. Kitts and Nevis toward becoming a sustainable small island state.
“Reality for St. Kitts and Nevis is we made a commitment last year to transform our island to a sustainable island state and that was not a small commitment. That was a very new and young government saying to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and to the world that we recognize our vulnerability. We recognize that most of our challenges are external, but we want to transform. And we recognize how expensive it would be to transition to a sustainable island state.”
She said, “We have committed to doing so through constitutional reform and through legislative amendment. Less than six months into government, we have already passed anticorruption laws, integrity in public life, made banking amendments, and have committed to increasing and improving the ease of doing business and think it’s the Nevis.
Dr. Clarke further noted that public-private partnerships are important in transforming societies across the region.
“There’s a need to focus on growth and resilience. There is a need to ensure that growth and resilience in St Kits and Nevis and in the Caribbean is actually private sector driven and private sector finance. We’re not going to find five to$7 trillion globally in the public sector. We’re not going to find it in government coffers. We are not going to find it anywhere else but in the investments structures in the private sector. And that’s why public private partnerships are critical. And that’s why in St Kitts and Nevis we recognize the need to improve the ease of doing business in St. Kitts, to have legislation which supports anticorruption and integrity in public life and banking amendments which makes it easier for business to be conducted and for money transfers to be monitored.
The Island Finance Forum took place from April 18th to 20th.