Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett has called attention to the Ukraine conflict’s impact on the Region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barnett was addressing a May 3rd meeting in Panama.
It brought together CARICOM Ministers of Foreign Affairs with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU.
She spoke of the Herculean efforts of CARICOM Member States to build resilience in the fight to combat climate change and the protracted COVID-19 pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on their economies.
“We have no doubt that the support of partners is instrumental to the buoying of our economies when we are beset by any crisis, and indeed multiple ones,” Barnett stated.
In this regard, she said the Region, confronted by the COVID-19 pandemic, was highly appreciative of the support provided by the EU and looked forward to continuing support in seeking to rebound.
But Barnett observed that pandemic recovery is under threat from the Ukraine conflict’s impact on the Region’s small economies.
“We must now make adjustments to address the substantial increases in fuel and commodity prices which are affecting developing states particularly deeply, more extensively,” Barnett explained.
“As we contemplate deepening and extending our important partnership it is clear that climate change and realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals must remain at the forefront of our interests. The impact of climate change to our Region and the urgency to protect our planet increases with the inability to seriously pursue the ambition of 1.5° to stay alive. CARICOM applauds the EU’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050, however, we remain hopeful that the EU and other more advanced countries will recognise the need for greater ambition towards nullifying this existential threat to our vulnerable countries, and act decisively towards our agreed goals,” she told the Panama gathering.
“Our countries require a specific, unique approach to meet this threat including reassessing eligibility for development finance,” Barnett asserted.
And she said the Region welcomed and continued to call for the European Union’s influential voice in the international donor community, and where it matters most, in the global finance architecture in support of the development of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to this end.