LIVE UPDATES: Small island nations meeting in Antigua and Barbuda chart new course towards sustainable prosperity

09:45 am

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Brown was the final speaker in the cultural sector, in a video clip from the United Nations General Assembly, calling for greater support for SIDS amid corrosive climate change.

09:35 am

Now it’s a display of pure joy, showcasing some of the wonderful attractions of this gem of the Caribbean. “Show me how much you love Antigua and Barbuda!”, was the cry on stage. It was a noisy and celebratory welcome for islanders from all over the world.

09:25 am

It’s truly a performance: dancing, singing, dramatic videos about the beauty and human suffering of climate change – and the specter of natural disaster in the form of the storms that Antigua and Barbuda knows all too well, they have had to go through it. Irma and Maria in 2017.

Dawn breaks over Jolly Beach, Antigua and Barbuda, as countries convene the Fourth International Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS4).

Dawn breaks over Jolly Beach, Antigua and Barbuda, as countries convene the Fourth International Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS4).

09:14 am

We recently enjoyed a performance by the Antigua and Barbuda Symphony Orchestra. Now a theatrical performance focusing on the dangers of climate change for vulnerable countries gathered in the hall. We have trees, tropical sounds and warnings that the ecosystem is out of balance… “We must give opportunities to the youth of these countries”, Mother Nature is saying:

“What affects small island nations, affects all of us. Respect all nature or everything you know will soon disappear!”

Buses are ready to take delegates to the conference location.

Buses are ready to take delegates to the conference location.

08:45 am – It will all happen in a matter of minutes with the cultural opening event. Fortunately, the sun is shining this morning, which compared to yesterday’s rainstorms has reminded everyone here that the unpredictability of increasingly severe weather will be one of the main discussion points this week. This.

You can find complete information about the entire week and special features leading up to the conference, on our landing page here.

‘Resilient Prosperity’

More than 20 world leaders, along with representatives from the private sector, civil society, academia and youth – nearly 4,000 participants – gathered at the verdant conference site in American University of Antigua near the capital St John’s, to address the critical issues affecting the future of SIDS.

Themed Chart a path toward resilient prosperityThe four-day conference (May 27-30) will showcase new innovations and develop practical solutions to address the critical challenges specific to SIDS due to the climate emergency, debt heavy debt and health crisis.

For more about the conference, check out curtain-raiser story here. UN News attended one of the high profile events over the weekend hosted by over 80 young change makers from around the world and you can check out their event The need for action is here.

The conference will approve it Antigua and Barbuda Agenda on SIDS (ABAS) – Innovative Declaration for Sustainable Prosperitywhich sets out the aspirations for sustainable development of small islands over the next decade and the support needed from the international community to achieve them.

SIDS across the Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans, Indian Ocean and South China Sea are home to about 65 million people. They manage 19.1% of the world’s Exclusive Economic Zones and the resources they hold.

Accounting for Covering 14% of the world’s coastline, SIDS boast high levels of biodiversity. SIDS has pioneered renewable energy solutions, advocated for sustainable tourism, while leading conservation efforts and making great strides in developing an ocean-based economy.


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