The World Bank,
His Excellency the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Denzil Douglas,
Allow me to begin by expressing my heart-felt sympathies to the governments and peoples of the small island states in the
Mr. Chairman, Now let me turn my attention to today’s Small States Forum of the World Bank. I would like to begin by thanking you and the World Bank for inviting me to take part in your meeting. As the United Nations High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and
In the course of its deliberations, this Forum has recognized that small states share very similar characteristics that pose challenges to their development. These challenges stem from economic and environmental vulnerabilities and natural disasters that plague many such states with little or no ability on their part to take adequate protective measures. This recognition, I believe, clearly highlights the need for the international community and the World Bank to continue to undertake, and add, to the special and differential measures to support the development efforts of small states. At the same time, the vital need to strengthen the capacities in small states to build resilience and to enable them to manage and benefit from globalization needs continued emphasis.
The discussions in the Forum today focused on economic growth and investment in small states. This issue has become a matter of crucial importance to the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the
Now allow me, in my capacity as the Secretary-General of the upcoming International Meeting for the ten-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action, to thank you for also giving me this opportunity to brief the Forum on the preparations for that Meeting.
As you would be aware, the Government of Mauritius has graciously offered to host the conference, that is now scheduled for January, next year. The UN General Assembly approved the new dates of the International Meeting from 10 to 14 January 2005. The last two days, that is, 13 and 14 January, will be the high level segment during which a good number of Heads of State and Government are expected to participate. Two days of informal consultations are also proposed on 8 and 9 January. A Civil Society Forum will be organized in
A considerable amount of work has already gone into the preparations for the International Meeting — both organizational and substantive.
Negotiations on the
While it would be most opportune if member states can reach agreement on the outcome document before they arrive in
I am of the belief that the global goodwill that SIDS enjoy in general should find a manifestation in the
Mr. Chairman, as the experience of the last decade has shown us, it is difficult to implement all the fourteen priorities outlined in
I will hasten and add that this approach will not compromise the fourteen priorities of the Barbados Programme of Action. My suggestion amounts to a strategy to achieve the maximum possible international support to undertake what is urgently needed to bring about an early positive impact in the lives of the people in the small islands. This seems to be a good way to also hasten the overall implementation process of
Mr. Chairman, in view of its practical importance to the implementation process, the
At the same time, I also propose that intergovernmental regional organizations need to play a greater role in the post-Mauritius period. Why is this? As all of us know, such organizations like CARICOM, Pacific Islands Forum and the Indian Ocean Commission, best know their own regional capacities, organizations and personalities that can make a difference in implementing programmes and projects. They can better assess the international assistance and inputs that would be needed and how best to access them. Of course, it would be essential for the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions to support them whole-heartedly.
Mr. Chairman, now I would like to briefly touch upon the issue of the level and extent of participation at the International Meeting. As the Secretary-General of the International Meeting and in keeping with the resolution of the General Assembly, I have been emphasizing the need for member-states to be represented at the highest levels of government in
When it comes to the World Bank, I would again urge its representation at a high level in
In conclusion, let me congratulate you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your successful leadership at today’s Forum, and thank the World Bank for organizing it here in
Copyright © United Nations,2002-2004. OHRLLS, Room UH-900,