A call has been made for international partners to be more inclusive of Oversees Countries and Territories when providing support to Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) to implement the sustainable development agenda.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering made the historic call as he addressed the United Nations Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in Apia, Samoa from 31 August – 3 September.
“In the past, international partners have tended to deliver assistance to SIDS in regional clusters such as the Caribbean and Pacific. Too often some islands in these clusters have been excluded based on political status. This approach is unhelpful, and in some cases regressive, in achieving the sustainable development of all SIDS,” the Deputy Premier said. (Video recording of the statement can be found online at http://m.webtv.un.org/search/kedrick-pickering-british-virgin-islands-general-debate-6th-plenary-meeting/3764209175001?term=Pickering.
Dr. Pickering represented the BVI on behalf of Premier Dr. Honorable Orlando Smith and the 22 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the European Union. Deputy Director of the BVI London Office Benito Wheatley also attended the meeting.
Dr. Pickering also attended the UN Private Sector Forum where he made a statement on public private partnerships and highlighted the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) as a successful public-private partnership in which the BVI is involved.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Labour participated in several Side Events organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), The Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA) of which the BVI is a member, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). He attended the Signing Ceremony of the SIDS DOCK treaty that establishes an organisation for SIDS to address the serious challenges of building resilience to climate change.
“The SIDS conference was a historic moment for BVI as we made a contribution at the highest level of international debate on the sustainable development of SIDS, among which we are counted. Sustainable development remains a challenge of the territory, but we will continue to strive to achieve it through the concerted actions of government and our partners within society.” The Deputy Premier and Natural Resources Minister disclosed.
In the lead up to the UN Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States the BVI actively participated in the preparatory process. The BVI attended the once in a decade conference in its capacity as an Associate Member of ECLAC and as the chair of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA)