Prime Minister Browne dialogues with Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland at UNGA

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne has been discussing a broad range of matters with top officials in government from around the world on the first day of a busy schedule of bilateral meetings taking place during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

High on his schedule of meetings on Monday was a bilateral engagement with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland  Micheál Martin, who expressed deep interest on some of the issues that are affecting small island developing states like Antigua and Barbuda.

Prime Minister Browne has been a key figure on the international stage advocating on behalf of SIDS on a number of issues including debt relief and the reconfiguration of the global financial structure to increase access to the finance needed to build resilience against the dreaded impacts of climate change.

“The one size fits all construct no longer works,” Prime Minister Browne noted during his dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Martin, explaining that the unique vulnerabilities of Antigua and Barbuda and other island nations have only strengthened their resolve to pursue solutions like the Multidimensional Vulnerabilty Index (MVI).

Deputy Prime Minister Martin was particularly keen on hearing Prime Minister Browne’s thoughts on the future of island nations and in this context inquired about his expectations for a positive outcome at the next climate conference, COP28, which will be held in the UAE towards the end of this year.

In response, Prime Minister Browne stressed that the industrialised world needs to redouble their efforts in reducing their carbon emissions and the Loss and Damage Fund, which Antigua and Barbuda as Chair of AOSIS was instrumental in establishing, needs to be capitalised and operationalised.

Deputy Prime Minister Martin, in the meantime, pledged financial support for the hosting of the  SIDS4 Conference, which will be held in Antigua and Barbuda from May 27 – 30. The ground breaking conference will represent a major turning point in the future of island nations as it will produce and establish a 10 year framework from which SIDS will work in achieving their Sustainable Development Goals.

Prime Minister Browne expressed his gratitude to Deputy Prime Minister for his support, noting that the contribution of Ireland will go a long way in the establishment of the Centre of Excellence, the home of a data hub for SIDS, in Antigua and Barbuda. The launch and opening of the Centre will coincide with the hosting of the SIDS4 Conference in Antigua. 

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