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PM Gonsalves addresses UN General Assembly on issues of climate change

PM Gonsalves addresses UN General Assembly on issues of climate change

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Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves wrapped up an intense week of activities by attending the launch of Blue Guardians, addressing the United Nations General Assembly and hosting bi-lateral meetings with the President of Kenya, Prime Minister of Sweden, and the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.{{more}}

At the launch of The Blue Guardians, an initiative within the Clinton Climate Initiative, Prime Minister Gonsalves shared the stage with former US President Bill Clinton, and was presented a commitment to expand the work being done on energy in St Vincent and the Grenadines by the Clinton Foundation to now include a partnership on sustainable oceans.

On Tuesday evening Prime Minister Gonsalves addressed the United Nations General Assembly, with a statement that was powerful and well received by the General Assembly, touching on issues of climate change, reparations, and the reforming of the United Nations so that it can be more effective according on its charter. He ended the address by making an appeal to member nations of the UN to have a labour of love as we labour together in this vineyard.

Prime Minister Gonsalves met with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and had discussions on the deepening of African Diaspora relations between CARICOM and the African Union; with Kenya playing an active role, as well as Kenya’s support for the CARICOM claim for reparations from former colonial masters. President Kenyatta extended an invitation to Dr Gonsalves to visit his country with a view to formalising agreements on areas of cooperation between St Vincent and the Grenadines and Kenya.

In discussions with Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, the leaders focused on continued cooperation on the very important area of climate change. Sweden is a significant contributor to the United Nations Green Climate Fund that provides support to Small Island Developing States in helping them fight against the effects of climate change. Dr Gonsalves and Prime Minister Lofven pledged to continue working together on areas of common interests with the objective of deepening cooperation.

Sports, education and training were the main areas of focus in the discussions between Dr Gonsalves and Foreign Minster Bert Koenders of the Netherlands. Prime Minister Gonsalves made a request for a Dutch coach to work along with Vincy Heat, currently engaged in World Cup Qualifier. The Dutch Foreign Minister gave the undertaking that he will look into the possibility of Netherlands providing a coach to provide technical assistance to Vincy heat. In the area of education and training, the provision of tertiary level scholarships at dutch universities was discussed.

The official program ended with the launch of SIDS DOCK; the international organisation made up of Small Island Developing States within the framework of the United Nations. Dr Gonsalves chaired the launch of SIDS DOCK in the absence of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, of Dominica, who was unable to attend the launch. This very historic launch heard addresses from a number of ratifying countries as well as one of its partners, The Clinton Climate initiative that will partner with SIDS DOCK to work with Small Island Developing States to help combat the dangerous effects of climate change.

This was the final official event on Dr Gonsalves’ calendar, and signalled the end of a very productive week of bi-lateral engagements on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Dr Gonsalves was expected to return to the State yesterday (Thursday) evening.

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