TERRANCE MICHEAL DREW, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, pointing to the lack of trust in government, global organizations, traditional media and the political class, said that the United Nations and its Member States must show inclusion, respect and dignity for all. Developing countries are groaning under the weight of burgeoning challenges not of their own making, some of which have been inherited as a result of colonization and the transatlantic slave trade. “It is past time for reparatory justice,” he declared. Also noting that industrial, behemoth countries and companies push small island developing States to the front lines of climate change, he pointed out that they accept little responsibility for financing adaptation and mitigation measures. Consequently, countries unable to access concessionary funding are forced to fix the climate crisis by obtaining loans at exorbitant rates from the countries where those problems originated.
Spotlighting the need to address gaps and shortfalls of the current international financial architecture through multilateral sovereign debt mechanisms, governance reform of the international financial institutions and access to financial resources, he welcomed the Bridgetown Initiative. His Government has adopted a vision of transforming the country into a sustainable island State by 2040, made strides towards geothermal energy production and used loans from the Caribbean Development Bank for national development projects. Moreover, it has strengthened health-care delivery and management, while also investing in more participatory governance and implementing programmes for the most vulnerable and marginalized. “We want to ensure that Saint Kitts and Nevis leaves no one behind,” he underscored.
Saint Kitts and Nevis cannot win the fight against the proliferation of illicit weapons, he continued, commending the support of the United States in tackling guns trans-shipments and buttressing the country’s national security apparatus. Spotlighting global inequalities, he observed that, while others benefit from the access to Venezuela’s natural resources, its Caribbean neighbours are denied it due to the sanctions imposed on that county. As well, he also called for ending the embargo on Cuba and removing it from the list of State sponsors of terrorism. Turning to Haiti — the first free Black republic in the Western Hemisphere — he underscored the need for a political solution and measures to revise its legacy of underdevelopment. “We cannot move forward on the acceleration of Agenda 2030 if we continue to knowingly and deliberately leave some people behind,” he stressed.
Noting that the emerging spheres of influence are challenging the rules-based order, he reported that new currencies are being internationalized, novel trade routes are taking shape and new political and economic blocks emerge to drive geopolitical advantage. “The voice of the Global South is growing bolder with increasingly louder rumblings among powerful blocs calling for change,” he said, highlighting the importance of enhancing the role and presence of developing countries in the Security Council. The reform is critical to reflect contemporary geopolitical realities, he observed, adding: “We stand at the juncture of ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’. We know what is. We understand what could be. Ours is the challenge to ensure peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all.”
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