Twenty representatives of governments of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) participated to the third OECS Assembly held on December 9 in Antigua and Barbuda.
In the context of the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria that severely affected the region a few months ago, climate resilience was one of the major points on the agenda for the representatives of governments from seven member states: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The official meeting was also marked by the presence of Raúl Castro, the president of Cuba, who addressed the Assembly.
“I reaffirm Cuba’s will to continue to share with the Caribbean brothers the benefits of our modest achievements in terms of adaptation to climate change and in the reduction of disaster risks,” Castro stated.
The prime ministers of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica seized the opportunity to share their respective experiences and recovery efforts which echoed a call for stronger resilience of the region against climate change.
The chairman of the OECS Authority and prime minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, recalled that immediate actions are now critical.
“There is an urgent need for adequate dedicated and accessible financial, technical and capacity building assistance to enable SIDS to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change to cope with loss and damage to transition to resilient, low-carbon economies,” Chastanet stated.
He also recalled that the OECS member states had demonstrated a commitment to complying with their obligations under the United Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement through the fulfillment of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
The chairman of the OECS Authority concluded the Assembly by presenting a motion focusing on building climate resilience in the Eastern Caribbean.