Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 30, 2022 (SKNIS): The Right Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Economic Development, International Trade, Investment, Industry and Commerce, said that persistent diplomacy stemming from a series of high-level regional and international meetings paved the way for greater inclusion at the Conference of Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18, 2022.
At a Post-COP27 Press Conference with the Honourable Dr Joyelle Clarke and the Honourable Konris Maynard on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) Conference Room, Dr. Douglas highlighted that a number of the high-level discussions held with the United Nations, Organization of American States and the European Union “framed what would be St. Kitts and Nevis’ developmental agenda” as the Federation’s representatives interacted with fellow states from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific region.
“We were saying for example that we wanted to impress on the rest of the world that the concept of multi-dimensional vulnerability index was going to be critical for us to get acceptance at the COP27 Conference,” said Minister Dr. Douglas. “We were also making the point in framing the agenda that there has to be a coming together of minds with regards to the loss and damage concept or idea that we wanted the rest of the world to accept in order to give us, from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) a chance to survive in the future.”
Dr Douglas said that the concepts of the multi-dimensional vulnerability index and loss and damage were two important outcomes at COP27, adding that there was an acceptance of the concept of the multi-dimensional vulnerability index.
“In other words, even though countries like St. Kitts and Nevis were considered to be relatively high per capita income countries, even though we have graduated in the past out of concessionary support from those in the national financial organizations which were assisting us, even though we were considered to be high or middle-income countries we nevertheless suffered tremendous loss and damage from the climatic conditions which were being paused as a result of the environmental disruption caused by those large industrialized countries that were emitting large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere disturbing the entire environment and thus contributing to horrific hurricanes that destroyed us down here, our infrastructure and our people’s livelihoods on several occasions,” said Dr Douglas.
Minister Douglas said that COP27 proved fruitful in many ways.
“So it was really an amazing experience to see the rest of the world converging… to debate these very issues that we have been saying for years needed to be brought to the attention of the world so that countries like St. Kitts and Nevis and other Small Island Developing States could really survive and have better livelihoods,” he said. “The argument, therefore, was that we are people too, we may be small but we are a people. We have a right to exist, we have a right to develop our agriculture so that we can feed ourselves properly…”
Dr Douglas added that the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was the place to bring arguments on behalf of Small Island Developing States and to see the “industrialized world react under pressure to the demands of the people from SIDS.”