St. Kitts and Nevis PM Douglas thanks Taiwan, other partners for assistance in green energy, calls for the eradication of HIV/AIDS

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas addressing the 67th Annual Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UN Photo)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 30TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has expressed thanks to the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and other nations for the assistance in the area of renewable energy.

Addressing World Leaders at the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations on Friday. Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas also urged a recommitment to eradicate HIV/AIDS, applauded the decision to convene the Third UN Conference on Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States.

“While a shift to renewable energy will not instantly solve the myriad problems caused by a significantly fossil-fuel based global economy, the embrace of green energy will indeed help to halt the intense downward spiral into which our fossil-fuel based economies have thrust our planet, and so we strongly urge that green energy be made an absolute priority globally,” said Dr. Douglas, who commended the United Nations Secretary General “for his visionary leadership and the Governments and financial institutions that have committed generously to ensure that high impact clean energy is utilized globally.”

He placed on the record his Administration’s appreciation to the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and other development partners for their valuable assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis in the area of renewable energy “which will positively impact our energy cost reduction efforts, as we move towards realizing a full green economy by 2015 to bring much needed financial relief to our people.”

Prime Minister Douglas informed world leaders that any discussion of global health must address the issue of HIV/AIDS, “because our ultimate objective must be the complete eradication of this dreaded disease – as opposed to the lifelong management and accommodation of same by millions of people around the globe.”

In making an appeal for a wise, determined, and discerning onslaught against this scourge at the local, national, and international levels, by all, the St. Kitts and Nevis leader called for a recommitment to eradicate the stigmatization and discrimination against people living with and associated with HIV/AIDS.

“The abuses of human rights that perpetuate discrimination and stigmatization must come to an end. We in the Caribbean are committed to achieving this,” said Dr. Douglas.

On the issue of climate change, Prime Minister Douglas noted that for St. Kitts and Nevis and other Small Island States, the matter is profoundly troubling and whatever the debate being waged internationally regarding the question, “dramatic the rhetorical jousting within various circles on this issue, we, in the Caribbean, can attest to the radical climatic shifts that our region has undergone in recent decades.”

“Moreover it is troubling that the largest contributors of greenhouse gases are still not taking responsibility for the increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, coastal degradation, coral reef bleaching and decimation, infrastructural damage, and loss of lives that their actions have wrought. Our people, our maritime integrity, our soils, and our infrastructure are all interrelated contributors to our overall social and economic viability, and the absence of corrective and restitutional action on the part of industrialized nations involved is neither constructive nor understandable in this highly interdependent world. The physical, mental and financial burden that other countries’ energy usage has inflicted on countries like mine has been enormous – plunging us deeper into debt, and severely frustrating our efforts to meet our Millennium Development Goals,” the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister said.

Dr. Douglas said the recently held United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development set the stage for a reconfiguration of the global program on sustainable development, and indeed, signaled a new era in the sustainable development agenda of the international community.

“Two decades of debate and deliberation were instrumental in our being able to frame the dialogue, and envision a path for the two decades now before us. If we are to even approach the potential at Rio+20, it will be essential that we first face up to, and then break, the strictures of indifference and narrow self-interest that have plagued us for far too long. It is therefore incumbent upon us and future generations that we view our responsibilities as parts of an ongoing continuum – with each of our efforts benefitting from, as well as building upon, the work that came before,” he said.

St. Kitts and Nevis said Prime Minister Douglas applauds the decision to convene the Third UN Conference on Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States in 2014.

“Small Island Developing States, by virtue of our size and geographic profile, are clearly among the world’s most vulnerable nations – hence the recognition of our need for special attention where sustainable development is concerned, and, indeed, hence the importance of everyone remembering the absolutely essential nature of special and differentiated responsibilities where small island states are concerned,” said the Prime Minister.

He urged that clear targets be established now, “so that we can all prepare thoroughly and well for the 2014 Conference, in which urgently needed attention will be paid to ways in which our vulnerabilities, as Small Developing Island States, might best be reduced. This august body can be assured of our full participation in this process, and in the post-Rio+20 sustainable development agenda.”

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