NEW YORK, NY – 22nd May 2023………Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne on Tuesday travelled to New York where he will attend a series of engagements primarily focused on actualising the progress made on the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).
Prime Minister Browne, together with former Prime Minister of Norway, the Hon. Erna Solberg, are Co-Chairs of the United Nations High Level Panel on the MVI, which seeks to introduce a more accurate reflection of the needs of countries whose vulnerabilities increase their exposure to external shocks.
By virtue of the current measurements, like a country’s Gross National Income (GNI), vulnerable states are limited in the type of concessionary financing they are able to access to recover from major disasters.
The MVI seeks to change this by developing an inclusive approach that not only considers a country’s fiscal state but its ability to respond to major climatic events like a disastrous hurricane or global economic shocks.
During his visit, Prime Minister Browne as Co-Chair of the HLP, will lead discussions at a two-day retreat at the United Nations Headquarters with economists, policymakers, and leaders of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) who have an abiding interest in bringing the MVI to reality.
Prime Minister Browne is also scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with UN Secretary- General, His Excellency António Guterres. He will be joined in those discussions by Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations His Excellency Walton Webson and Deputy Permanent Representative Mr. Tumasie Blair.
Prime Minister Browne and Secretary-General Guterres will dialogue on the progress of work so far on the MVI and the Fourth SIDS Conference that will be held in Antigua and Barbuda in 2024. Prime Minister Browne is also expected to make use of the opportunity to discuss the challenges arising from the economic fallout that gripped Antigua and Barbuda and other Small Island Developing States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also on the Prime Minister’s itinerary of meetings are bilateral discussions with Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Gilad Erdan and the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Her Excellency Dame Barbara Woodward.
Prime Minister Browne returns to the state on Friday. Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs, the Hon. Steadroy Benjamin will assume the role of Acting Prime Minister from today Tuesday. (Ends)