Caribbean foreign ministers concluded a meeting this week in Rome with their Italian counterpart at the 10th Italy Latin America and the Caribbean Conference on the theme, ‘People, Planet and Prosperity’.
Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister, E.P Chet Greene led the Caribbean Foreign Ministers’ delegation to the conference with Luigi Di Maio, Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.
In his remarks, FM Greene thanked his Italian counterpart for hosting yet another gathering to find solutions to overcoming the COVID 19 pandemic, and to set the framework for a better and brighter future for our peoples. He added that the region’s relationship with Italy is based on a common commitment to the principles and values enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
Referencing the coronavirus pandemic, Greene said it underscores the fact that the planet is a shared homeland that each person has an obligation to protect and preserve it.
“If we fail to act, we would have collectively consigned our one planet to destruction and our peoples to lives of unimaginable misery. As then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, said in 2014, ‘There is no Plan B because there is no Planet B’,” he noted.
According to Greene small island states such as Antigua and Barbuda are looking forward to the this week’s COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, to see real commitment made to efforts to limit activities that fueling climate change conditions.
He said Antigua and Barbuda wants to see the following happen at the conference;
1. Agree to close the mitigation gap to keep global warming below1.5°C and to present 2030 emission reduction targets and credible net zero by 2050 strategies that respond to the science to maintain global warming below 1.5° C.
2. Agree to increase climate finance to match the needs of Small Islands States (SIDS) especially on adaptation and loss and damage and to include grant based sources of financing. And
3. Agree to the completion of the Paris Rulebook that strengthens accountability and enables ambition and that preserves key principles of transparency and environmental integrity.
FM Greene added that as efforts are being made to build on this partnership between Italy and the Caribbean and Latin America countries, all must strive to develop workable and beneficial strategies to address common developmental challenges.