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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 30, 2020: Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, is calling for a multidimensional vulnerability index that will help CARICOM countries. 

Guterres disclosed the UN is working with the Caribbean Development Bank to craft the vulnerability index that will help regional countries make a more evidence-informed case to International Financial Institutions in his virtual address to the 41st regular meeting of the conference of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region Thursday. 

He also called for the exploration of creative approaches such as debt swaps and to cancel or restructure debt to unlock resources for the Sustainable Development Goals and climate action. “A government-brokered regional compact with the IFIs and the UN is critical for a sustainable recovery — one that opens channels for financing renewable energy, sustainable transport, digital infrastructure and productive services,” Guterres said.  

He highlighted his push for a relief package equivalent to at least 10 percent of the global economy, as well as an appeal for debt relief and said next April’s 15th UNCTAD quadrennial conference in Barbados will provide another important platform to discuss a more open and equitable global trading system that takes account your specific vulnerabilities and enables effective integration of SIDS into the global economy. 

“As you have long advocated, the world must look beyond incomes and factor in the vulnerabilities of countries. The private sector, including the credit rating agencies, also must be engaged in relief efforts,” the UN SG added.

Guterres also underlined his solidarity with CARICOM members in addressing climate change.

“Your leadership and moral voice on the front lines is crucial for charting a recovery that will accelerate the decarbonization of the global economy and build a more inclusive and resilient future,” he said, while emphasizing his full support for the Caribbean vision of becoming the first fully climate-resilient region in the world.

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