By Huntley Medley
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has called on fellow heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to make the region’s voice heard in relation to issues facing small island developing states (SIDS), climate change and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
She said the regional grouping must send a clear and unified message on these matters considering the commonality among the three processes, noting that CARICOM needs to ensure that the opportunity provided by the confluence of these issues is seized in a timely manner.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller
Simpson Miller was speaking during the businesses session of the 35th meeting of CARICOM heads of government held last week in Antigua and Barbuda.
She recommended that CARICOM issues a clear statement articulating the priorities of the region so as to inform member countries’ participation in the three processes.
She also endorsed the call by other member states for CARICOM to speak with one voice to the international community and development partners, to ensure that the upcoming sustainable development goals and post-2015 development agenda fully reflect the priorities of SIDS.
The Jamaican prime minister commended the work of the regional task force looking at these matters and signaled that Jamaica stands ready to provide any technical support as the region pushes for the advancement of SIDS on the global agenda.
Jamaica is of the view that a legally binding agreement on climate change is needed by 2015, and that the commitment to financing the Green Climate Fund should be honoured.
The country also wants greater institutional support for SIDS from the United Nations (UN) system and other multilateral organisations and is pressing for the prioritization of small states issues in the work of UN, so that there is mainstreaming of SIDS’ priorities on the international agenda.
Jamaica sees global support for SIDS as being vital for building resilience, eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development.
CARICOM member states are now preparing for discussions on the sustainability and unique vulnerabilities of SIDS at the third international meeting on SIDS to be held in Samoa, September 1-4 this year.