UN Secretary General meets with Regional Climate and Environmental Agencies at CDB

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His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations met with Caribbean organisations working to co-ordinate climate action today at a meeting hosted by and held at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in Barbados.  The agencies shared updates on the nature and impact of their work, while indicating critical areas and interventions which can enhance their effectiveness.

The agencies were the CDB, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC); Caribbean Institute for Meteorolgy and Hydrology (CIMH); Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).

The Secretary General applauded the region for its contribution and engagement on climate change and affirmed the importance of regional institutions in actively keeping on the front burner, the concerns about the impact on the Caribbean.

“Caribbean countries have to be the champions in raising climate change to the global agenda. I hope you will continue to raise your voice…In spite of the challenges the region is still standing ahead of others but strong regional institutions are a critical ingredient to this effort,”  the Secretary General said.

Dr. William Warren Smith, President of the CDB said Caribbean countries face “serious structural, economic and social challenges that must be addressed as we build resilience to climate change. We have been relying on a regional approach to address common needs, including capacity building and strengthening of institutions to provide direction and coordination.”

He added that: “substantial climate finance is urgently required. CDB has been emphasizing support for the rebuilding of infrastructure to higher standards. However, we could make a more significant contribution to the Region’s efforts in both disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, if adequately resourced.”

Mr. Ban indicated that there are important developments emerging that can have positively transformational effects for small island developing states (SIDS) and pointed to the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015 as an essential  milestone.

“The Post 2015 development agenda will be transformational, people centred and planet friendly. The Paris Climate Summit will be an important opportunity to highlight the region’s concerns. Regional entities’ with a much more focused understanding of the issues will have a very important role in this Summit.  The Samoa pathway process highlighted the key roles that regional entitites play in advancing SIDS priorities. UN stands ready to support your organisations and to work in concert to advance the goals and aspirations of the Caribbean region.  We rely on you as the bridge builders between local concerns, regional landscape and international arena,” the Secretary General said.