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Historic participation of Caribbean countries at the UN General Assembly

Caribbean countries made one of their most memorable participations in history during the latest General Debate of the UN General Assembly last week.

Emotional pleas to mitigate climate change and to support the costly measures necessary to adapt to its effects, as well as to “build back better” after the devastating effects of extreme weather were expressed by the region’s delegates. On the top of everyone’s mind were the catastrophic effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria as the latter was still making its destructive way across the Caribbean.

Even on the wake of the catastrophic hurricanes, preparedness, humanitarian assistance and reconstruction were not the only issues raised by the region.  Delegates also made compelling statements about the importance of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, and highlighted many of the vulnerabilities shared by Small Island Developing States. These included social and economic challenges, that range from debt to single sector economic dependency, human trafficking, migration and others.

Click on the links below to watch videos on demand of the Caribbean participation, or to read summaries and transcripts of the statements at the General Assembly.

 

H.E. Mr. Gaston Alphonso Browne,
Prime Minister
Antigua and Barbuda


Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/ag_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/antigua-and-barbuda

 

H.E. Mr. Darren Allen Henfield,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Bahamas

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bs_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/bahamas

 

H.E. Ms. Maxine Pamela Ometa McClean,
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Barbados


Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript   https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bb_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/barbados

 

H.E. Mr. Wilfred Elrington, 
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Belize

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bz_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/belize

 


H.E. Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit,
Prime Minister
Dominica

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/dm_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/dominica

 


H.E. Mr. Elvin Nimrod,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Grenada

Video of speech  http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/gd_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/grenada

 


H.E. Mr.  David Arthur Granger,
President
Guyana

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/gy_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/guyana

 


H.E. Mrs. Kamina Johnson Smith,
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Jamaica

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/jm_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/jamaica

 

H.E. Mr. Mark Anthony Brantley,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/kn_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-kitts-and-nevis

 


H.E. Mr. Allen Michael Chastanet,
Prime Minister
Saint Lucia

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/lc_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-lucia

 


H.E. Mr. Louis Straker,
Deputy Prime Minister
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/vc_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-vincent-and-grenadines

 

H.E. Mrs. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Suriname

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/sr_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/suriname

 

H.E. Mr. Dennis Moses,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Trinidad and Tobago

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/tt_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/trinidad-and-tobago

 

 

 

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UN S-G remarks at end violence event barbados

United Nations Secretary General 

REMARKS AT EVENT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

[ as prepared for delivery ]

2 July 2015

 

The Honourable Steven Blackett, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, The Honourable Adriel Brathwaite Q.C., M.P., Attorney General, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Today I am proud to stand with you to end the devastating problem of violence against women. The Caribbean has among the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

Three Caribbean countries are in the global top ten for recorded rapes. In the eastern Caribbean, UNICEF estimates that child sexual abuse rates are between 20 and 45 per cent – meaning at least one in five precious children are affected. Most are girls who have no choice but to live close to their attacker. They desperately need our help.

Too many women are afraid to seek help. One study showed that up to two thirds of all victims suffer without ever reporting the crime.

I am outraged by this. Shame belongs to the perpetrators – not the victims. We have to change mindsets – especially among men.

I am proud to be the first man to sign onto the UN’s HeForShe campaign. Today, I invite more men to take the HeForShe pledge. I encourage you to join UNICEF’s End Violence global campaign. 

And every day, I count on all of you to work for true equality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This country can lead the region. We chose Barbados for the Caribbean launch of my UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign in 2010. Under this campaign, Barbados hosted the 2012 UNiTE Conference that adopted the Bridgetown Declaration for Action to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Abuse Against Girls and Boys.  This country has been reforming its legislation and working to confront the problem. Today we take another step forward.

The Memorandum of Understanding being signed by the Office of the Attorney General and UN Women will boost our joint efforts to end gender-based violence. It will give women greater access to justice. And it will help end impunity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

A great daughter of Barbados, the late Dame Nita Barrow, once told the General Assembly that the United Nations Charter is “a shield against those who would abuse the unsuspecting and the powerless.”  In that light, today’s event is a meaningful celebration of the Charter’s 70thanniversary.

Thank you.

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UN S-G Message at CSDHLS

Secretary-General's opening remarks at the Caribbean Sustainable Development High-Level Symposium

Bridgetown, Barbados 2 July 2015

[as prepared for delivery]

 

Your Excellency the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, and Chair of the Caribbean Community, Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Members of the Cabinet, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is a pleasure to join all of you for this High Level Symposium on sustainable economic development in the Caribbean.
And it is a special honour to do so here.


For Small Island Developing States, this space is hallowed ground. Twenty years ago, this very building was the site of the First Global Conference on SIDS that adopted the Barbados Programme of Action -- the first compact between SIDS and the international community.
Today, it is so encouraging to be among so many leaders of Government, regional and international organizations, the private sector, academia, and civil society. Your presence highlights a continuing Caribbean commitment to put our world on a safer, more sustainable and equitable pathway. That commitment starts with you, Mr. Prime Minister.
As you have often said, “Barbados is more than an economy, it is a society.” You have carried forward that vision on the regional and global stage.  You served on my High Level Panel on Global Sustainability.  And you also played a very active role in my Climate Summit last September. So when you invited me to attend CARICOM, I had no choice. I could not say no.


The year 2015 is a time for global action. The international community is in the final stretch of preparing a transformative post-2015 development agenda that will be adopted by world leaders in New York in September.
That will be preceded -- just days from now — by the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa.
The year will close with the Paris Climate Conference where governments have committed to adopt a meaningful, universal climate agreement. As leaders of some of the most vulnerable countries in the world, you don’t need to be told that our planet is at grave risk.  You are on the climate frontlines. You see it every day. Sustainable development and climate change are two sides of the same coin.
On the one hand, we cannot end poverty by destroying nature’s bounty, which provides livelihoods for billions of people.
On the other hand, we cannot protect our planet without putting the needs of people at the centre – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable. Addressing climate change is essential for every aspect of sustainable development – from food and water security to energy, from economic growth to political stability.


I want to salute Caribbean countries for taking on ambitious renewable energy targets.  By 2020, for example, Barbados will be one of the world’s top five leading users of solar energy on a per capita basis.  You are lighting the path to the future.   We have a big agenda before us.  A bold agenda.  An agenda that will drive development policy for the next generation. The proposed Sustainable Development Goals will build on the progress and broaden the sweep of the Millennium Development Goals.
The MDGs aimed to cut poverty in half. The world met that goal – and we should be very pr oud of that achievement. But going halfway was never our ambition. Usain Bolt does not stop at 50 metres. We are finishing the race.  We are going for gold.

We can be the first generation that ends global poverty, and the last generation to prevent the worst impacts of global warming before it is too late. To get there, we are working to make sure that the Sustainable Development Goals are focused, financed and followed up – with real targets, real money and a real determination to achieve them.


In many ways, the Goals represent a “to-do” list for people and the planet. But, as I have emphasized, making it happen will take partnerships – as the theme today highlights.  The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa laid a pathway for collective action and success within the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

As we prepare for the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals, there are a number of critical areas to strengthen our partnership. You have highlighted the need for capacity building; financing; access to technology; and improved data collection and statistics. We have heard your calls and are committed to strengthening our implementation and partnership frameworks.
We need to continue working together to link the global agenda to regional agendas and to deepen regional integration.

We need to work hard to ensure that the social fabric is strong because vibrant societies are the foundation of resilient economies.
We need to keep speaking up and acting in meaningful ways to address the unique needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing states and middle-income countries, such as the debt challenge.


We need to put more attention on the need to expand opportunities for women and young people who want the dignity that comes from decent work. And we need to keep forging the way forward towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient development pathway that will benefit both people and the planet. Through the Green Climate Fund – and in working with world leaders—I will continue to press that SIDS and least developed countries are top funding priorities. Many of my top development advisors are here to take part in the dialogues today.


We will seek ways to address your concerns, and of course we will draw from and strive to build upon your ideas.
My main message to you is to remain fully engaged and keep working with us to strengthen our partnership during this vital year for humanity.


I wish you much success.  Together, we can build a better, more sustainable world, for all.


Thank you.

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Schedule of activities for United Nations Secretary-General in Barbados

What Ban will be doing in Barbados:

  

date

Date/ Time Activity

 

01 July 2015

 
  1.   20: 34 Arrival  Grantley Adams International Airport Barbados

 

02 July 2015

 
  1.  09:15 – 09:45   Meeting with Prime Minister Stuart and Minister of Foreign Affairs

  2. 10:00 – 11:00 Opening Ceremony of the Caribbean Sustainable Development High Level    Dialogue 
    Theme: The UN and CARICOM: A Partnership for Post-2015 Development

  3. 11:15 – 11:40 - Visit to energy effecient lighting maker 

  4. 12:05 – 12:35 Justice and Response – Ending Gender Based Violence in Barbados with Attorney General and/or Minister of Social Care Organised by  UN-Women and UNICEF

  5. 13:05 – 14:00 Lunch with Business Leaders of Barbados hosted by theUN Resident Coordinator

  6. 14:10 – 14:25 Visit  Coastal Zone Management and Climate Change Adaptation
    Organised by the Ministry of Environment and the UN RC Office 

  7. 16:30– 18:30 Opening Ceremony – Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government 

  8. 19:00 – 20:00 Welcome Reception for Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government hosted by the Prime Minister of Barbados

 

03 July 2015

 
    1. 07:30 – 08:20 Breakfast Meetingwith heads of Regional organizations

    2. 08:35 – 08:55 UNAIDS Launch of Lancet Caribbean HIV/AIDS Report

    3. 09:00 – 09:20 Meeting with H.E. Mr. David A. Granger, President of Guyana

    4. 10:10 – 11:30 Interactive Session with the Youth of the Caribbean Region – Caribbean Youth Speak: The World We Want Post-2015 [University of the West Indies, Cave Hill]

    5. 12:05 – 12:25 Media Encounter

    6. 12:30 – 13:30 Working Lunchwith CARICOM Heads of Government (1+1) hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat

    7. 14:49 Take off from Grantley Adams International Airport,Bridgetown, Barbados 

 

 

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Highlights of the United Nations Secretary-General's visit to Barbados

 Highlights of the Visit of the Secretary-General to Barbados 

 

 

 

banbarbados2We are the last generation to to prevent the worst impacts of global warming before it's too late.

3 July 2015 - The Secretary-General visited Barbados from 1 to 3 July. Duiring his visit, he addressed the opening of the 36th Summit of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and spoke about the opportunities for the  Caribbbean Community ( CARICOM) to get involved in meaningful change for a sustainable future. Ban remarked - "We can be the first generation that ends global poverty, and the last generation to prevent the worst impacts of global warming before it is too late". 

 

During his two-day visit he also held bi-lateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Barbados and incoming Chair of CARICOM, Freundel Stuart, met with the Heads of the regional organizations coordinating CARICOM’s response to climate change. On Thursday Ban visited two local initiatives that focused on promoting sustainable development and addressing climate change in the region and country – the Caribbean LED Lighting Inc., which manufactures and exports energy efficient lighting across the Caribbean; and the Hastings Boardwalk, a public-private partnership project that helps to mitigate disaster risk and protect the coastline.

 

The Secretary-General attended an event on ending gender-based violence that was organised by UN Women and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  In his remarks he mentioned that the Caribbean had one of the highest incidents of violence against women, stating that two countires from this region ranked close to the top in global figures. Ban said that he was proud to be a man who took a stand against ending violence against women and girls and  urged Caribbean heads of states to engage in greater action towards this goal.   On 3 July he delivered remarks at the launch of the Lancet Caribbean HIV/AIDS report. Ban spoke about the chalenges of a response toward ending the epidemic and the need to end stigma, intolerance, discrimination and violence. The Secretary-General rounded up his visit with an interactive session with young people in the region at the University of the West Indies ( read his remarks )

 

 

 

 Press andmore

SG' Messages :

{module SG Messages in Barbados}

 Other Stories

 

banbarbados3We have to change mindsets – especially among men

UN Secretary General during his address at an event to end violence against women, cited the Caibbean countries as in the global top ten ranking for rapes, and child sexual abuse at  estimated rate of between 20 and 45 percent. He lamented that victims suffer without reporting the crimes and often have to live with their attackers. "Shame belongs to the perpetrators – not the victims" Ban said explaining that we have to change the mindsets  especially among men,

Ban said that Barbados could lead the region in change, recalling that he chose this member state to launch his UNiTE campaign in 2010.

Ban also said that he was proud to be one of the first men to sign on to the HeForShe campaign inviting more men to take the pledge.

 

 

 

 

 

Ban unaidsreport AIDS will only end when we protect the human rights of all

During his address at the launch of the Lancet/UNAIDS report , the United Nations Secretary-Genreal , Ban Ki-moon said that governments in this region struggle to finance their responses to AIDS in a region with a quarter of a million infected persons. 

He said that the epidemic is only made worse by punitive laws and stigma. "We cannot tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, nor on the basis of gender identity. We must also defend the human rights of sex workers and of people who inject drugs".

At the Global level 19 billion dollars is spent annually to address AIDS , but he called for a rapid scale up in expenditurs to twice that amount , which should led by countries and include the contributions of private partners. Ban also stated that progress was being driven by youth, gay activists, women and campaigners. Another key message Ban said was "we can leave no one behind. AIDS will only end when we protect the human rights of all". 

 

 Read the S-G's Message from Youth Speak at UWI

youthspeak image

 

UN SG meets with Prime Ministers of

Trinidad and Tobago; Guyana. 

The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in the margins of the 36th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Barbados.

The Secretary-General congratulated Trinidad and Tobago on producing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) progress report, and welcomed the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed issues concerning climate change, violence against women and the prevalence of HIV in the country


The Secretary-General met with the President of Guyana, H.E. Mr. David Granger, in the margins of the 36th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Barbados.

The Secretary-General welcomed President Granger's efforts to prioritize political reforms, local government elections and national reconciliation in Guyana. The Secretary-General and the President discussed the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

They also talked about Guyana and the region's engagement in the forthcoming Financing for Development Conference in Ethiopia, the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 development agenda in New York, and Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris. 

 

YouTube icon 1CARIBBEAN UN - VIDEOS:

 

{module UN SG in Barbados videos}

 

Other Stories

MDG report - Latin America and the Caribbean continue to show impressive gains 

Caribbean States 'lighting path' towards sustainable future, says UN chief in Barbados

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contact

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Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

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