JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has called on the international community to put aside its business as usual mindset in favour of urgent, concrete action for the benefit of small island states struggling to meet their development goals.
Addressing the opening of the High Level Segment of the 17th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City recently, Dr. Tufton told an audience of prime ministers, presidents, diplomats and distinguished delegates, that given the scale and magnitude of the challenges confronting members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), “this session of the CSD must give priority attention to the special and important needs and concerns of our countries.”
Speaking on behalf of the 37 member countries from the Caribbean, Pacific and Oceana regions, the Agriculture Minister stated that against the existential issue of climate change, the role of the international community in the provision of financing, technology and capacity building, was not only necessary but vital, and further delays would risk endangering their very existence.
“While we have contributed the least to this single most urgent threat (climate change), we have no choice but to bear the heavy brunt of its impact. It not only poses barriers to our sustainable development goals, but further threatens our economic and physical survival,” Dr. Tufton stated.
He said it was critical that the outcome of the meeting included bold and far-reaching policy options to address the special needs and concerns of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in achieving their sustainable development goals in agriculture and rural development, and addressing issues such as desertification and drought.
Her Excellency Gerda Verburg, Chair of the 17th Session of the CSD, in her opening statement, called for a “homegrown green revolution in ideas, technology, agriculture and trade policies and market access as well as new, creative and innovative thinking toward the achievement of sustainable development.”
The session concluded with roundtable discussions on the topic: ‘Responding to the food crisis through sustainable development’.