The new Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Magdy Martinez-Soliman, recently presented his credentials to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott.
During a courtesy call at the ministry’s headquarters on Culloden Road, St. Michael, they discussed several matters, including the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, the Blue Economy and the United Nations (UN) Reform.
In welcoming Mr. Martinez-Soliman, Minister Walcott reaffirmed that Barbados has a good relationship with the UN, and specifically the UNDP.
The Foreign Affairs Minister highlighted concerns of using GDP per capita as a measurement of development, as the deciding factor to access development assistance and financing.
He recommended using measures of vulnerability instead, particularly for small island developing states, which are susceptible to natural disasters and economic shocks.
Mr. Martinez-Soliman acknowledged that no country was immune to natural disasters, and outlined that the Climate Change Vulnerability Index looks at a wide range of impacts, such as droughts, coastal erosion, deforestation and permafrost.
He added that under his tour of duty he was keen on being a good partner to Barbados and the OECS, stressing that he wanted to see the programme grow.
The resident representative also shared that a key focus was the Blue Economy, and noted that the UNDP was hoping to set up partnerships to advance this area.