An historic ‘first’ was recorded at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) when 20 countries from the Caribbean and Central America issued a joint declaration calling on international financial and development institutions to prioritise the provision of funds and resources to help them address climate change.
The original declaration was drafted by Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the OAS, Sir Ronald Sanders, who also presented it on behalf of the 20 nations after securing unanimous support.
Ambassador Sanders said never before had the countries joined together at the OAS to express their shared concern about the evident heating-up of the planet.
“Now, they have not only let the world know of their joint worry, but they have also collectively called for action,” Sir Ronald said.
The declaration says funds and resources are needed in recognition of “the urgency and magnitude of the challenges faced by these regions in building resilience to climate change”.
Sir Ronald said that while small island developing states have been making their voices heard at the UN’s COP meetings, there is a need to widen the alliance of states that are jointly seeking remedies for loss and damage to their economies and the livelihoods of their people.
The 20 countries that made the joint declaration on June 21 were the 14 independent states of Caricom, along with Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama.