|Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Telecommunications, Valerie Browne (left), shares a light moment with Prime MInister Freundel Stuart at the SEFA Conference, while nited Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, looks on. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??|
Hundreds of delegates have unanimously adopted the Barbados Declaration on Achieving Sustainable Energy For All (SEFA) Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference despite some initial reservations about the wording of the accord from some overseas participants.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Telecommunications, Valerie Browne, made the announcement yesterday on Day 2 of the high-level SIDS meeting at Hilton Barbados.
After the formal announcement, a member of the Bahamas delegation requested that the newly elected administration be given more time to peruse the document and the SIDS commitments outlined in the annex.
In the closing speech, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, described the outcome as "a momentous conclusion to a very important day-and-a-half".
"…After we have started this journey to carve out a new development paradigm for SIDS, one that is powered by a commitment to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase the percentage of renewable energy in the national and global energy mix, I think that we have come to a good point after two days," she affirmed.
Mrs. Gyles-McDonnough acknowledged that although there were still some challenges as outlined in the document, there were opportunities to be explored.
"We must untangle the existing enigma for SIDS of the funding for climate change and energy.?? Countries experience real challenges with access to funding.?? It is hoped that after interaction over the last two days, we have cleared a few of those clouds.?? Let us now see how we can move decisively along the path to a new future," she observed.