A government minster has espoused the view that small island developing states (SIDS) are constrained in their ability to craft independent solutions as a result of the debt situation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, made this assertion during a general debate at the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York recently.

She said Barbados recognised that the stability, health and productivity of the global environment, particularly its coastal and marine resources, were fundamental to the survival of this island, CARICOM and other SIDS.

In light of this, Senator McClean noted that SIDS must be actively involved in shaping the global development policy agenda, but lamented that the debt constraints were a barrier to finding the appropriate solutions.

???The issue of debt sustainability is of particular relevance to SIDS. In highlighting its importance, the Prime Minister of Barbados, in his feature address to the recently concluded Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Third International Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS, [intimated that] ?????? ???debt sustainability is a critical issue not only for Barbados, but for many of the SIDS. We must, therefore, use the opportunity provided by the Third International Conference on SIDS to both find and share solutions to this challenge as it is a major constraint to SIDS achieving sustainable development?????? ??? she underlined.

The Foreign Minister also said that Prime Minister Stuart also spoke about the urgency of this matter being addressed before the SIDS conference in Samoa and pointed out: ???I repeat this call to this august body and commend it to the relevant entity of the United Nations System to act expeditiously on this proposal.???

Senator McClean said Barbados attached ???great importance??? to sustainable development in all its dimensions and added that the theme for this year???s session, The Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage, was timely and relevant.

She indicated that the Agenda must involve commitments to, among other things, the eradication of poverty and hunger, environmental sustainability with emphasis on coastal and marine resources; development of sustainable and accessible renewable energy technologies; and the pursuit of a sustainable agriculture agenda in tandem with food and nutrition security.

Senator Mclean underlined that the Agenda should also focus on equality and women???s empowerment and youth development, education and employment; good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law.


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