Prime Minister Drew leads delegation to SIDS4 Conference in Antigua and Barbuda

Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew will lead the delegation attending the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4). The conference will convene from May 27th to May 30th, 2024, at the American University of Antigua in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda.  

The prime minister will be supported by Senator Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action et. al.

Under the theme Charting the Course Toward Resilient Prosperity, SIDS4 will evaluate the capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to attain sustainable development, with a specific focus on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. 

An integral outcome of the conference will be the formulation of an intergovernmental, action-oriented political document geared towards fostering resilience and prosperity in SIDS communities. 

“We anticipate that SIDS4 will allow for a necessary ‘coming together’ of leaders and stakeholders to collaborate under the theme of charting a course toward resilient prosperity, and so the Federation is excited to host our National side-event at the Conference venue to discuss the intersectionality of health, human capital, and the climate crisis,” Prime Minister Drew said ahead of the conference.  

Dr. Clarke also expressed her expectations of the SIDS4.

“We understand that island states are considered ‘special cases’ given our unique vulnerabilities, and as such, St. Kitts and Nevis is aiming to fully capitalise on the visibility and collaborative support that this conference provides. We look forward to sharing our national vision of a sustainable island state with key stakeholders and investors as we seek to build and foster strategic partnerships,” said Dr. Clarke.  

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, “The Federation is ready to join efforts to ensure the actualisation of the SIDS4 Outcome Document that will serve as the comprehensive plan of action for the next decade.”

Comprising 37 United Nations member nations and 20 associated members of regional commissions, SIDS occupy a unique but challenging position at the forefront of global crises. Their vulnerability to climate change is most notable. 

“In the face of challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, SIDS continuously navigate through cycles of environmental disasters and recovery efforts, putting their resilience and economic sustainability to the test. SIDS confronts many obstacles including high import/export costs, heavy reliance on external markets, and limited natural resources. Saint Kitts and Nevis is ready to join voices with fellow SIDS to champion progressive and tailored action for the sustainable development of small island states,” the statement concluded.

The SIDS conference, which was last held in Samoa in 2014, occurs once every ten years. 

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