Barbados has signed the new United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, which will cover the period 2022-2026.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq, signed the document on Friday, during a brief hybrid ceremony at Ilaro Court.
And, Ms. Mottley underscored the importance of the Framework, saying that having a common agenda was absolutely critical to saving the world and putting it on the right path.
The Prime Minister continued: “We are here, not to be bureaucratic, not to be esoteric, … but in fact, to go to the heart of what we are facing as developing nations and small island developing states and put in place the mechanisms.
“We recognise that one of the deficiencies of small island developing states is the absence of capacity, …because it is the same people who are fighting the battles on all of these fronts…who have to craft the policies with respect to dealing and fighting inequity.”
Ms. Mottley said the globe was in the midst of battles that went to the heart of the existence of human beings and the planet. In giving examples, she highlighted the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and the significant negative effect it could have on people.
She expressed concern that the world was prepared to fight unnecessary specious battles or wars, while the simple battle for life, equity and fairness was being put at risk.
“I hope, therefore, that the actions of our Governments will send the message that there are more and more of us who want to see the common agenda implemented,” she stressed.
Mr. Trebucq said the signing of the Framework was timely, and an immediate next step would be to operationalise the commitments through the preparation of a two-year Country Implementation Plan for Barbados.
He explained that this would translate the broad commitments of the Cooperation Framework into a tailored and actionable plan for implementation, that would bring together the entire UN system as one behind this ambition.
He continued: “After a year of consultations…, we have arrived at a point where there is a clear road map for how the UN will support Caribbean countries and Barbados to achieve two urgent priorities: accelerate progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and facilitate faster recovery from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19….
“This new Cooperation Framework provides a renewed focus from the UN to step-up our efforts to partner with all Caribbean SIDS. We have identified jointly four key priorities which are critical for achieving resilient sustainable development in the Caribbean.”
The UN Resident Coordinator listed the priorities as including increased support to the economic resilience agenda; intensifying efforts to ensure no one is left behind in the quest to transform economies and improve the well-being of citizens; and a strong commitment to enhancing national capacity for gender responsive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Those attending the signing included UNICEF Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean (EC), Dr. Aloys Kamuragiye; PAHO/ WHO Representative to Barbados and the EC, Dr. Yitades Gebre; UN Women Representative to the Caribbean, Tonni Brodber; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Simone Rudder, and Deputy Permanent Secretary (ag), in the Prime Minister’s Office, Paula Byer.