- In May 2024, a mere six months from today, the world will gather in Antigua, at the Campus of the American University of Antigua (AUA), to set new directions for a civilization that requires sentinels to warn of the impending destruction if global temperatures continue to rise. The practice of dumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases and particulate matter into our skies, annually, has placed civilization on the precipice of a disaster. The “loss and damage” which small islands suffer, though their global contribution to warming is negligible, reminds us that “the polluter pays” principle has great currency. My Government expects significant results from the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and from the SIDS Conference which Antigua and Barbuda will host next May 2024.
- My Government thanks, in advance, the leaders and the many volunteers who will make the SIDS Conference here a success, knowing that all the world will be focused upon Antigua and Barbuda’s efficiencies in the May Conference. A special thank you goes out to our Ambassador to the United Nations and his team who have placed our nation at the center of this struggle for climate justice.
The Prime Minister has played a pivotal role during his chairmanship of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the United Nations; as well as, through his leadership of the COSIS (the Commission of Small Island States); his championship of “the loss and damage” issue; his astute guidance on the legal basis for liability, before the Court of the Law of the Sea, in search of a legal principle on which to rest our case; and, his advancement of the multi-dimensional vulnerability index (the MVI) as a means of measuring access to concessional financing. The future which Antigua and Barbuda is safeguarding will inure to the benefit of all humankind in the decades to come. Congratulations, Prime Minister.