As a lead-up to its 75th anniversary the United Nations launched a global listening exercise by asking persons all over the globe, particularly youth, to describe the kind of future they imagined for themselves.
Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined that our 76th anniversary would have seen us facing an unrelenting pandemic and socio-economic crisis, that would cause the world to pause and cause our lives to change so drastically.
This crisis has proven once and for all that there is still a place and need for multilateralism,
Today, ours is a world characterized by rising inequalities, poverty, and a climate emergency of overwhelming proportions. Furthermore, COVID-19 continues to adversely impact the socio-economic reality of Caribbean SIDS and to deepen existing disparities among the most at-risk populations.
What kind of future do we now see? This is the question we must all now ask ourselves.
While the past months have been daunting, they have revealed our shared humanity and taught us that unity and solidarity is truly the only way forward.
It cannot be business as usual. We are all compelled, now more than ever, to be nimbler, more adaptive, and certainly more inclusive in our responses. The need for greater solidarity and reinvigorated efforts towards multilateralism to address these global challenges are critical.
The UN team for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean is committed to supporting this region and building resilience to leave no one behind. Under the UN Reform, a new approach to delivering as ONE provides more innovative and tailored support to each country.
Resilience-building is at the core of our cooperation agenda to ensure that countries, like Barbados, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and ALL Caribbean SIDS, can build back better, greener, and stronger, truly leaving no one behind.
Moreover, I call on youth to step up, make their voices heard and engage in decision-making that can impact their future. We need to level the playing field and we need to do it together.
As we approach COP 26, now only one week away, the UN is demanding a strong commitment from world leaders to increase funding for climate adaptation and to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. This is a matter of survival for Caribbean SIDS.
The UN will continue to advocate at the highest level for the region to access the resources needed to effectively minimize vulnerabilities, reduce debt dependency, and accelerate progress towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
Together, we must ensure that we support efforts to not only increase universal access to COVID19 vaccines but also to reduce vaccine hesitancy.
Together, we must step up for climate action and must ensure that the rights and freedoms that underpin the UN Charter, are realized for women and girls, men and boys, and marginalized individuals and groups everywhere.
Together we must commit to leaving this planet in better shape for future generations.
On this UN Day let us agree that we and will do it together!
United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq.