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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart??

This country will play host to the Sustainable Energy for All (SEFA) Conference and the Rio +20 Informal Ministerial Meeting, in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The meetings are scheduled for May 7-8, and May 9 respectively at the Hilton Hotel.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will deliver the feature address to open the SEFA conference, which has as its theme: Achieving Sustainable Energy For All in SIDS-Challenges, Opportunities, Commitments. At the end of the symposium, it is expected that the Barbados Declaration would be signed on May 8.

The SEFA conference will attempt to create the establishment and awareness of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conditions and perspectives on sustainable energy for all; the articulation of SIDS commitment to support sustainable energy for all nations; and to convey SIDS support of sustainable energy for all as a potential Sustainable Development Goal.

Several Ministers of government from the Caribbean and beyond are expected to attend this important event, since it will bring together the governments of SIDS, UN agencies and other development partners.

According to the Ministry of Energy, co-hosting the conference and the Informal Ministerial Meeting will provide another opportunity for the Barbados Government to showcase the work that is being done locally in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as provide a platform for developing new partnerships; strengthen existing relationships with renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses; and concomitantly, stimulate new investment opportunities.

Meanwhile, the RIO+20 Informal Ministerial Meeting on May 9, is a preparatory session for the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janiero in June this year. The Informal meeting is designed to provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss the support for SEFA targets and commitments as one outcome of RIO+20 and contribute to the discussion on the potential establishment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related global monitoring mechanisms.

The Barbados Conference will also be a chance to showcase the work of the SIDS DOCK partnership- a multimillion dollar sustainable energy initiative that was created as a not for profit international organisation for Small Island Developing States to facilitate the development of a sustainable energy sector to provide the foundation for low carbon economic growth and adaptation to climate change. Barbados is now in the process of finalising arrangements to become a member of SIDS DOCK.

Signing of the Barbados Declaration will provide a clear statement of the unique circumstances, vulnerabilities and needs of SIDS and articulate SIDS support and commitments towards the three SEFA objectives in the lead up to the Rio+20 conference.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

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