ST JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – 29th September, 2020……Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne on Tuesday joined world leaders in a high-level meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond, co-convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica.
Speaking on the behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, AOSIS Prime Minister Browne said that COVID-19 has brought the world to a threshold point noting that small island developing states (SIDS), are the most severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, with economic growth expected to contract at three times the global average.
The high-level meeting brought together Heads of State and Government and representatives of international organizations, the private sector and civil society to consider options for recovering from the current crisis in the short term, mobilize the financial resources to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the medium term and build the resilience and sustainability of countries and the global financial architecture in the long term.
“While the menu of options offers more than enough to pick and choose to suit individual interests, doing so will not effectively address the systemic inequities that have long held our countries back from sustainable development; and, even now, are preventing us from accessing the support we need to recover. We therefore advocate for a holistic approach that addresses SIDS issues with SIDS solutions. And, we propose to do so in the form of a SIDS Compact,” Prime Minister Browne pointed out.
It was outlined that the SIDS Compact is premised on the special case of SIDS and therefore requires a dynamic approach to addressing recognized vulnerabilities as a cross cutting systemic issue. In addition, the Prime Minister stated that it will require, agreeing to a multi-dimensional vulnerability index to replace the antiquated income-only measures.
“The Compact would aid in designing innovative response mechanisms and enhance existing financial instruments to guide SIDS economies through this period of crisis; our Compact would also create a responsive system where gains can be maintained, resilience to climate change can be reinforced, and development achieved,” Prime Minister Browne stated.
Heads of State and Government during today’s Hi-Level meeting, discussed a menu of policy options developed by six discussion groups established following the high-level event on financing for development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond, which was held on 28 May, and in the light of the outcomes of the meeting of finance ministers on the same subject, which was held on 8 September.
Participants also considered policy options relating to external finance and remittances, jobs and inclusive growth; a better recovery for sustainability; global liquidity and financial stability; debt vulnerability; the engagement of private sector creditors; and illicit financial flows. (Ends)
Prime Minister Gaston Browne participating in today’s UN Hi-Level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.
MAURICE F. MERCHANT
Director-General of Communications | Government of Antigua and Barbuda