Roseau, Dominica: President of the Commonwealth of Dominica- Charles Savarin, delivered the keynote address at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which is being held in New York from 20 to 26 September 2022. He talked about various issues such as climate change, the country’s path to resilience, poverty, global crisis and many more.
President said that at a time, they are faced with innumerable challenges, which are both current and long-term implications; these include climate change, degradation of the ecosystem and laws of biodiversity, poverty, inequality and a growing challenge of chronic non-communicable diseases.
He stated that the Commonwealth of Dominica reiterates its call to the International Community to prioritize COP-27, which is the disbursement of climate financing to seeds to support our adaptation and resiliency efforts as we seek to minimize loss and damage from extreme climate events.
President stressed that in this way, actions would reflect more equitably and justice-oriented responses towards fulfilling the goals and Promises of sustainable development.
Outlining the suffering faced by Dominica due to climate change, he mentioned that the country has spoken before of the cataclysmic impact of successive disasters on the country. Tropical storm Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017 caused over 90 percent and 220 percent
loss of GDP, respectively. With lives lost, people displaced, and livelihoods shattered, these experiences triggered our goal of becoming the first climate resilient nation in the World and have realigned the Focus to concentrate on adaptation efforts and building back better in every sector of the economy.
President Savarin stressed, “Our small island developing states are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, a phenomenon which will continue to escalate every increment of global warming.”
He added that the various Global crises do not respect national borders or an interconnected World means that no one is insulated or immune from developments which take place anywhere on this planet. Today planet Earth is under severe threat and stress and may very well become uninhabitable.
While showing concern, he said, “If we further delay decisive corrective action, we need to talk less and start taking those concrete unsustainable actions needed in order to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. in addition to tropical storms and hurricanes, we are facing the prospect of drought warming seas and rising sea levels all of which will affect lives and livelihoods.”
President said that for this very reason the country continue to Champion the call for Global Collective action to build the resilience of our small island states to natural disasters which are triggered and exacerbated by the changing climate. Everyone must lay a path for development that is sustainable and people-focused.
He further asserted that over several years small states like Dominica have stood at this very podium and that many other such podiums across the World are seeking to convince the developed World to Change destructive practices that threaten the earth planet and the very lives and livelihoods.
He mentioned that yet despite their best efforts not enough corrective action is being taken not enough support is being given to them to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change that are already upon us.
“I will not stand here today to detail to you the ways in which climate change is affecting us these are well known we see the news reports the evidence is all around us what we need from our developed Partners in this United Nations family is a recognition and acceptance of responsibility that translates to a commitment to provide the funding that is required to enable our small states to become resilient, “underlined the president.
President asserted that this must be readily accessible and available to all of them on Grant and concessional terms with the only criteria for access being our vulnerability to extreme weather events.
“I see levels rise; some small island States will eventually disappear where others will experience Coastal erosion and will ultimately destroy infrastructure, Villages, towns and cities,” he said while showing concern.
He said that two months ago, at this very headquarters, the Commonwealth of Dominica represented its first voluntary National Review in keeping with the International obligation and in the spirit of global Covenants.
Dominica reported on the tremendous progress accomplished both in terms of the advances made towards the achievement of the sustainable
development goals and our national agenda Guided by the vision of becoming the World’s first climate resilient nation as we continue to recover from the destructive weather events already mentioned.
He said that Dominica’s main economic industries are showing signs of positive recovery tourism and agriculture. Remain the main income generating sectors with GDP protected to reach pre-pandemic Levels by 2023 averaging five percent growth per annum from 2022 to 2026. Tourism recovery has been supported by new infrastructure projects and improved and increased air access.
Outlining the ways, he underscored that at the centre of dominica’s resilience agenda are the citizens across Dominica. New and modern planet-resistant homes are being constructed for low and middle income families. Modern and smart health and wellness centres have been constructed unequipped the urban and rural communities; this will allow them to withstand the impact from extreme weather and remain operational. By also strengthens response to other natural emergencies and pandemics.
He cited that in that regard the Commonwealth of Dominica takes this opportunity to commend the government of the People’s Republic of China for its commitment to add further 42 billion dollars to the new Global Development and South Souls cooperation fund. This will assist countries like Dominica that are on the front line of the negative impacts of climate change to accelerate the realization of the 2030 agenda.
“Ensuring our citizens for long and healthy lives will always be a priority therefore we grow and consume what we grow and consume has to be a critical component of our resilience agenda. Global Trends indicate that issues surrounding food security are not unique to Dominica; indeed the SIDs 2, zero hunger calls on governments to pursue smart and sustainable food production to help alleviate the Perils of hunger, “cited the president.