By Government of the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands, (BVI) – Deputy premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has called for a focus on climate financing for the 14 Associate Member Countries (AMCs) of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) when the AMCs next meet for high-level talks in 2022.
Wheatley made the proposal at the 20th meeting of the monitoring committee of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) on behalf of premier Andrew A. Fahie who is vice-chair of the CDCC and a leading advocate for the AMCs in the UN system.
According to the deputy premier: “The British Virgin Islands and other AMCs very much welcomed ECLAC chair Costa Rica’s commitment to a second meeting of the AMCs in 2022 within the frame of the fifth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on sustainable development. Among other things, I recommend that we place on the agenda, resource mobilisation and development cooperation for climate change adaptation in the AMCs, most of whom are not covered by the Paris Climate Change Agreement, but yet have huge resource constraints and gaps to be filled in successfully building climate resilience.”
He went on to describe the damage inflicted by hurricanes Irma and Maria on the British Virgin Islands and the funding challenges to rebuild in the aftermath of the catastrophic damage caused by the two unprecedented category five hurricanes.
The attendees also discussed the ongoing challenges posed to the Caribbean by the COVID-19 pandemic other critical issues such as the establishment of the Caribbean Resilience Fund to help mobilise resources for Caribbean Governments classified as Middle and High-Income to build their resilience as Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).
Notably, in 2021 the British Virgin Islands, represented by premier Andrew A. Fahie, chaired the first-ever ECLAC high-level meeting of the AMCs on their challenges in implementing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.