CHARLES A. SAVARIN, President of Dominica, reiterated his country’s condemnation of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine without reservation while noting its adverse effects, from skyrocketing prices of oil and petroleum to the shortage in the world’s grain supply. Expressing the view that the invasion and its ensuing war could have been avoided through negotiation and arbitration, he stood with others in calling for the immediate cessation to the conflict raging in Ukraine. In welcoming the grain deal brokered between Ukraine and the Russian Federation by Türkiye and the Secretary-General, he then called upon all parties to continue their commitments and urged the United Nations to continue its efforts in ushering in a wider agreement and the end to the war.
Turning to the pandemic, he highlighted the ongoing threat to the global community, the limitations of health systems and the unequal access to vaccines and lifesaving medicines. The challenge now, he posited, is to create better and strong mechanisms which will respond more effectively to future pandemics while ensuring the poorest that they will have access to vaccines and medicines. Reflecting on this year’s theme, he emphasized the challenges that small island developing States face in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and asked, “to what extent has tangible support been forthcoming?” The international community must go beyond promises, commitments and pledges to effectively deliver and implement.
On climate change, he implored the international community to “talk less and start taking those concrete and sustainable actions needed in order to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere.” In reminding the General Assembly of the immense impact tropical storms, hurricanes, droughts, warming seas and rising sea levels have on Dominica as a small and vulnerable island State, he championed the call for collective global action on building the resilience of small island developing States and on protecting the progress achieved over the past two decades. Developed partners must recognize and accept responsibility and must commit to providing funding on grant and concessional terms for small States to become climate resilient. Warning of the eventual disappearance of some small island States and the destruction of others, he reiterated the call for the disbursement of climate financing to those States at the upcoming COP27.
On the 2030 Agenda, he shared Dominica’s progress, which was also presented through its first Voluntary National Review, and called on all States to adopt a multilateral, transformative and resilient approach. Urging countries to support each other, he commended China for its commitment to add $42 billion to the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund. He also spoke of Dominica’s work on strengthening its agriculture sector to reduce the vulnerability of farmers and fisherfolk.
Recounting Dominica’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty in June 2022, he called upon all States with nuclear weapons to abide by international law. Echoing others, he strongly urged the immediate lifting of sanctions on Cuba, the removal of Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism and the full integration of the Cuban people into the global and financial trading system. He then called for the immediate lifting of sanctions on Venezuela and stressed the responsibility of all to provide short and long-term solutions and opportunities for Venezuela. Acknowledging the recent meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Trinidad and Tobago on Haiti, he implored the United Nations to forge an effective, unified response that brings the necessary resources to alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people.
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