St. Kitts And Nevis Participates In Meeting To Strengthen Caribbean-EU Partnership Through Enhanced Dialogue And Investment

Prime Minister Dr. Drew making his contribution to the Caribbean-EU Partnership event.
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St. Johns, Antigua – In a significant move to bolster the Caribbean-European Union (EU) partnership, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, participated in a side event of the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) on Monday, May 27, 2024, in Antigua.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew making his contribution to the Caribbean-EU Partnership event.

The event, held in conjunction with the SIDS4 United Nations Conference, provided a unique opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and investors, further solidifying the Caribbean’s position on the global stage. This high-level political event marked the first of its kind since the signing of the Samoa Agreement in November 2023. The meeting served a dual purpose: celebrating the Caribbean Protocol of the Samoa Agreement and presenting an indicative joint EU-Caribbean Roadmap in the context of its implementation. Additionally, it showcased progress and advanced discussions with key EU investors about opportunities within the Global Gateway Investment Agenda in the Caribbean, emphasising private sector engagement.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew highlighted the critical need for innovative financing mechanisms to address the pressing issue of climate change in the Caribbean. He emphasised that financing alone would not resolve the matter of climate change.

“Irrespective of the GDP within the Caribbean, the economies are small, and adaptation is extremely expensive. For example, St. Kitts and Nevis has gone from a water-abundant country to one of the most water-scarce countries in the world just because of climate change,” said Dr. Drew. “To supply our people with 24/7 water is going to cost us millions of dollars, and that is just one aspect of climate change we are suffering. This has nothing to do with the sargassum, cutting down on fish products, the increase in fossil fuels, as there is not enough investment in renewables for us to benefit.”

Dr. Drew also called for a re-evaluation of how Caribbean nations are judged for financial assistance, proposing the use of the Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Index (MDVI) over GDP as a more accurate measure of their needs.

“With all of these challenges that are being experienced, one of the things we can consider is scaling. If you do it across multiple countries, all will benefit. We need to stop considering GDP to judge Caribbean vulnerable nations,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew. “We should be judged possibly by the Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Index (MDVI). For example, if St. Kitts and Nevis do not get access to this type of financing, adaptability alone can bankrupt the country.”

He further stressed the urgency of immediate action to secure necessary financing.

“I wanted to bring that reality here today to say that this is our stark reality. Though we talk about multiple things that are being done, if those things are not looked at to get us the necessary financing in the interim and while we cut emissions and protect the planet, there are countries in the Caribbean that will not be able to adapt,” he said.

The presence of Dr. Drew and Dr. Douglas at this event underscored the commitment of St. Kitts and Nevis in addressing climate change through enhanced dialogue and strategic partnerships. Their participation brought invaluable insights and perspectives, enriching the dialogue and demonstrating a collective commitment to the goals outlined in the Samoa Agreement.

The event was held back-to-back with the SIDS4 United Nations Conference and provided an opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and investors. This gathering marked a significant step in implementing the Samoa Agreement and highlighted the Caribbean’s proactive stance in addressing climate change and fostering sustainable development through strengthened partnerships and innovative financing mechanisms.

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