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  • Minister Nicholson has endorsed the call for new global partnerships that will strengthen development in small island developing states (SIDS).
  • Senator Nicholson said focus must be placed on developing and strengthening partnerships in areas, such as climate change and disaster risk management.
  • He said the Caribbean must also call for an extension of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, has endorsed the call for new global partnerships that will strengthen development in small island developing states (SIDS).

Senator Nicholson said focus must be placed on developing and strengthening partnerships in areas, such as climate change and disaster risk management; oceans and seas biodiversity; water and sanitation, food security and waste management; sustainable energy; social development, and health and non-communicable diseases.

“It is only through the identification of integrated strategies for building resilience, that our vulnerabilities can be overcome and Caribbean development assured,” he argued.

The Minister was speaking on Wednesday, April 23, at the opening of the 3rd meeting of the Caribbean Development Roundtable, being held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston from April 23 to 24.

The event is being held under the theme: ‘Exploring strategies for sustainable growth and development in Caribbean Small Island Developing States’.

Mr. Nicholson noted that the discussions at this time will serve to prepare the region for even further dialogue, during the upcoming United Nations Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, to be held in Apia, Samoa, later this year.

He said it is therefore vital that the region unites around a number of priority approaches as it continues on the road to Samoa.

Among the issues to be pursued, he said, is the forging of new alliances through South/South and triangular cooperation.

He emphasized that the Caribbean must also insist that the new sustainable development goals that will be set by the United Nations in 2015 take into consideration the obligations and responsibilities of both developed and developing countries and, more importantly, retain the many benchmarks which help to build the resilience of Caribbean SIDS.

He said the Caribbean must also call for an extension of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as the MDG framework goes beyond eradicating poverty to embrace capacity building and risk reduction.

In the meantime, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission of Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, urged the Caribbean region to prioritise integration, innovation and investment as a growth strategy.

She said a strategy for economic growth that prioritises structural change, based on investment, integration and innovation, as well as strengthening public action for redistributing resources and promoting equality, must be pursued in order to spur development within the region.

The roundtable was organised by the ECLAC sub-regional headquarters for the Caribbean, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

The two-day event will see presentations from regional experts, including  Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips; Governor, Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga; and Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Colin Bullock.

The deliberations of the roundtable are intended to assist in the development of a vision for addressing the vulnerabilities of Caribbean SIDS.