C. PETER DAVID, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Grenada, said the world must choose a deliberate path to global leadership that promotes shared responsibility for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies while addressing pressing challenges, from religion-based tensions to climate change. Such global challenges are magnified in developing States, exacerbated by their limited access to development financing. In the Caribbean region, which is still recovering from the 2017 hurricane season, there is hope. Global climate challenges offer small countries the opportunity to highlight vulnerabilities and strengths by serving as test cases for the nationwide implementation of climate-related technologies and advances. Small island developing States also represent some of the most globally compelling business cases for sustainable renewable energy investment.
For its part, Grenada has already taken steps to rise to the challenges it faces. The Government aims at being climate smart and going beyond policies, he said, highlighting the establishment of the Ministry of Climate Resilience, Environment, Fisheries, Forestry, Disaster Management and Information. Part of its mandate aims at speedily ensuring that every aspect of the country’s development addresses climate change and resilience. Efforts must be made to address the scourge of non-communicable diseases, he said, calling for global leadership to find solutions.
Turning to financial concerns, he cited the negative effects on Caribbean economies of correspondent banking, de-risking, blacklisting and middle-income country graduation. The unilateral graduation of many small island developing States to middle-income status without considering the region’s vulnerabilities has already resulted in budgetary shortfalls that are adversely affecting economic and social development. While there are no easy answers to those challenges, he urged partners to desist from draconian approaches, such as blacklisting institutions as “money launderers” and countries as “tax havens”, as well as related arbitrary punishments.
On security, he said the Caribbean is a zone of peace and supports ending nuclear-weapon testing and arms trafficking. “Small arms and gun violence undermine the rule of law and are often major factors behind the displacement of civilians and the violation of human rights,” he said. As the world strives to create sustainable societies, he highlighted challenges in the region. Cuba continues to face embargos, which should be lifted. Some neighbours in Latin American are currently experiencing political and social challenges that threaten peace, sustainable development and the region’s stability. Grenada continues to offer its hand to facilitate dialogue towards the settlement of disputes.