8th October 2018
Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia
It is indeed my pleasure to welcome you to this Regional Dialogue on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the Caribbean. When Saint Lucia was approached to host this event, there was absolutely no hesitation on our part – this was an opportunity to show off our beautiful island as a backdrop to this important Dialogue.
Ladies and gentlemen, today marks another significant step on our journey, to position this region for transitioning to a low carbon economy, to foster sustainable economic growth, and to build resilience against the impacts of climate change.
The NDCs are central to the Paris Agreement and require all countries – developed and developing – to pursue efforts consistent with their national circumstances, towards the implementation of the Agreement. We are here today because we remain resolute in strategically exploring avenues that will lead to the realization of the targets outlined in our respective NDCs.
While we recognize, that collectively, our contribution to global emissions is small, significant effort is required to preserve what remains of our environment for our future generations. We also recognize that there are barriers – technical and financial – that can impact our ability to successfully implement our climate agenda.
We remain cognizant of the fact that, at no point in time, will individual governments be able to effectively move forward with successfully implementing their NDCs alone. Therefore, the support received from our partners like UNDP, UNFCCC, the NDC Partnership and others, to convene this Dialogue is welcomed.
In addition to discussing practical steps for the development of implementation plans for NDC achievement, the overall aim of this Dialogue, in its own way, echoes the key questions of the Talanoa Dialogue: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
The answers will emerge from the quality discussions that you, as technical practitioners from both the public and private sectors will have during this Dialogue. My colleague Ministers and I, are depending on its results. We believe that your informed recommendations will provide sound advice on how, as a region, we can inspire greater commitment to strategic climate financing and technical support to help achieve our climate agenda.
It is important for us to spur the required global political commitment needed, to ensure that rapid and ambitious climate action is supported and pursued. This commitment will minimize the further damage and loss experienced by our people, our ecosystems and the economies of our Small Island Developing States, and indeed, the world over.
Ladies and gentlemen, despite the challenges we face in the confines of our small island spaces and small economies, we must continue to manage the resources at our disposal. We must continue to strive for what is in the best interest of our people and most importantly, our future generations. Let us use this Dialogue as a medium to continue articulating our needs to those who must listen.
Let us approach these next few days, with a view to ensuring the achievement of meaningful outcomes that will serve to meet our financial, technical and capacity building priority needs. These outcomes should transcend all sectors, to enable strategic national development in our respective countries.
Let me therefore thank the organizers for supporting our efforts, by ensuring that these regional Dialogues continue to generate rich discussions that allow for peer exchange, knowledge management and inter-country support. Ultimately, these Dialogues will also serve to enhance our negotiating positions, consistent with the enhancement of our well-being and our continued fight for survival.
Ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to the outcome of the Dialogue and wish for all, a successful event.
Saint Lucia, visit Saint Lucia’s Climate Change Website at: http://www.climatechange.govt.lc/ or call the Department of Sustainable Development at 451 8746.