Categorized | National News

Mitchell Seeks Financial Support from UN

Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell said the United Nations must assist CARICOM in securing reliable, accessible, and adequate financing because it is critical to the development of the Caribbean region.

Mitchell’s comments came yesterday as he addressed the UN’s high level thematic debate in New York on strengthening cooperation between the UN, regional and sub regional organizations.

The minister of Foreign Affairs, who attend the debate on behalf of Prime Minister Perry Christie, CARICOM’s chair, said new approaches are required for development financing and currently CARICOM states are affected by graduation into middle income status, primarily on the basis of GDP per capita.

“This designation denies access to grant and concessionary financing, at a time when the effects of global financial and economic crisis still resonates in the region and members are strapped with particularly high debt burdens,” Mitchell said.

“There is no doubt that GDP alone is an inadequate measure of development, particularly given our region’s vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change, including sea level rise.”

Therefore, Mitchell added that countering climate change and sea level rise is a matter of priority for CARICOM member states and it is critical to their survival.

He noted that the region looks forward to a successful outcome of COP21 which will be held in Paris in December because it will conclude with a legally binding agreement that would lead to the stabilization of the global average temperature to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Anything less will subject SIDS (Small Island Developing States) to irreparable loss and damage,” Mitchell said.

He indicated that the region also looks forward to the July 2015 third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa to deliver actionable commitments and a robust framework on development financing and means of implementation.

However, Mitchell explained that CARICOM recognizes and encourages the initiatives of the UN to take fully into account, and to give weight to the vulnerability of SIDS in determining grant and concessionary financing.

“The importance of this approach is evident in the statement of the President of the Caribbean Development Bank, which confirms that ‘seven Caribbean countries are among the top 10 countries, which, relative to their GDP, suffered the highest average economic losses from climate-related disasters during the period 1993-2012,’” Mitchell said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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