FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS UN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business, Christopher Sinckler, greets UN Under-Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, at the Ministry. Also pictured is Head of the UN Programme in Barbados, Dr. Rosina Wiltshire.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and climate change were discussed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business, Christopher Sinckler, and United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, during a recent courtesy call at the Ministry’s Culloden Road Headquarters.

The Under-Secretary-General expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the Bridgetown meeting on International Cooperation for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Small Island Developing States, held at the Hilton Barbados last March 25.  He told the Minister that the meeting was “successful and he expected a positive outcome”.  

Mr. Sinckler told the envoy that although he too was pleased with the meeting, more work had to be done to strengthen the SIDS unit in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He said that not enough action had been taken after the 1994 Barbados SIDS conference and the follow-up meeting in Mauritius in 2005.

On the issue of climate change, Mr. Sinckler explained that it must remain a global priority.  He added that Barbados was of the view that the overriding priority of the UN system’s work in the area of climate change should be addressing the needs of those most susceptible and most adversely impacted by this phenomenon, which included SIDS, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), countries in Africa, as well as disaster-prone countries. 

Other issues discussed were health care, including the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  Mr. Zukang stated that educating the public was of great importance in order to combat this disease.

The Caribbean Sea Initiative, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), International Tax Cooperation and financing for development were also topics of conversation.

Head of the UN programme in Barbados, Dr. Rosina Wiltshire, also attended the meeting. 

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