|Prime Minister Freundel Stuart presenting UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, with a copy of ???The Barbados Declaration??? on ???Achieving Sustainable Energy For All in SIDS ??? Challenges, Opportunities, Commitments??? – after today???s talks during the final day of the Rio+20 Summit. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
Just before the landmark Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference came to a close, Barbados was reaffirming its commitment to an eventual transition to a green economy, and it has set itself some targets along the way to achieving that goal.
These assurances were given by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, during bilateral talks on the last day of the conference.
Barbados has taken a lead position among small island developing states (SIDS) in the move to a sustainable economy. During the three-day summit, whose theme was "The Future We Want", Barbados was invited to co-chair two events, and was one of the principal contributors at other special events that focused on the work of the global sustainability panel, the desirable outcome of the conference, and on the UN’s ???sustainable energy for all’ initiative, the brainchild of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
At the talks, the Secretary General complimented Barbados, and particularly Mr. Stuart, for sticking to the vision of a green economy future, which has as one of its cornerstones a sustainable energy for all strategy.
Prime Minister Stuart gave an undertaking, "wherever it is feasible", to accelerate existing activities, while inviting crucial partnerships with the private sector and labour, "which are crucial to the success of such an initiative". He congratulated the Secretary General and the UN on a well-coordinated and executed conference, noting that there was now a harmonized global campaign and effort for action, and for implementing the decisions coming out of the summit.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon told the Prime Minister that he was impressed with the stand Barbados had taken on sustainable development, and on his leadership in that regard.
In generally reviewing Barbados’ relationship with the UN, the Secretary General said that he had received good reports of the recent visit to Barbados by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and complimented the country on its human rights record.
Preliminary discussions were held as well on the possible relocation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to Barbados.
On the leisure side, Mr. Ban Ki-moon also revealed that he had "experienced a most enjoyable vacation in Barbados a few years ago; and I still have fond memories of that visit," he told Mr. Stuart.