News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 28, 2018: As Caribbean leaders got their turn Thursday to address the 73rd UN General Assembly, one Caribbean head of state used his time to call for small State exceptionalism to be placed at the center of the global discourse and responses addressing climate change.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in describing climate change as a multifaceted existential problem, said “major emitters that fail to set and honor ambitious mitigation pledges are committing a direct act of hostility against small island developing States.”
Decisive political and development action is urgently needed, Dr. Gonsalves said.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, also used part of his remarks to spotlight on the issue, calling for resilience and adaptation measures to address the devastating effects of climate change and natural disasters.
Holness said Jamaica and its CARICOM brother and sister islands do not have the luxury of engaging in a philosophical debate on whether or not climate change is real” as the matter is existential for SIDS.
And Haiti President, Jovenel Moïse, said climate change must be a top priority for international leaders. He said funding is insufficient to respond to challenges and States most affected by violent weather phenomena are those who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions.
Representatives of Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados will address the assembly today while Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Dominica and Grenada will address the body tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 29th.