Barbados signs new UN Regional Cooperation Framework as it celebrates 55th anniversary of Membership
17 December 2021
As Barbados celebrates its 55th anniversary of UN membership this month, the country has formalized its ongoing commitment to the United Nations.
Barbados became the first country in the Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Sub-region to become signatory to a new UN Multi-country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (MSDCF) for the Caribbean.
Today, during a brief ceremony at Ilaro Court, the official residence of the Prime Minister, UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq and Prime Minister Mia Mottley, initialed the agreement, on behalf of the UN Development System and the Government of Barbados. It will govern UN collaboration in the region for the next five years.
In delivering brief opening remarks to the hybrid ceremony, that included presential and online participation from both sides, Mr. Trebucq said the signing follows one-year of extensive consultations with governments and multiple regional and international stakeholders, and provided a clear roadmap for how the UN would support countries to achieve two urgent priorities accelerating progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and facilitating faster recovery from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
“Prime Minister, you are a strong advocate for SIDS very consistently making case for increased support to vulnerable nations. We are deeply appreciative of your support for multilateralism and strong moral leadership to deal with the multiple crises of our time. Like you, we believe it is possible to achieve sustainable development , but so much needs to be changed. It is against this his background, that this new Cooperation Framework provides a renewed focus from the UN to step-up our efforts to partner with all Caribbean SIDS,” Mr. Trebucq said.
Noting that perhaps no previous cooperation framework has been as significant as this one, since we are living in unprecedented times, the UN Resident Coordinator said that as an immediate next step, commitments would be operationalized through preparation of a two-year Country Implementation Plan for Barbados, well aligned to the country’s development needs and expectations from the UN. “This will translate the broad commitments of the Cooperation Framework into a tailored and actionable plan for implementation that will bring together the entire UN system as ONE behind this ambition. This is a change in our Business model,” he explained.
In addressing the Signing Ceremony, Prime Minister Mottley welcomed the new cooperation framework, while reiterating her support for the UN Secretary-General’s new Common Agenda, which she believes is “absolutely critical to save the world and put the world on its right path…our children and our children’s children absolutely demand it,” she emphasized.
Stating that as SIDS , regional governments were in the midst of battles that go to the very heart of who we were are as humans, and our planet as we know it , she maintained: “I hope, therefore, that the actions of our governments will send the message that there are more and more of us who want to see the Common agenda implemented, who want to be able to recognize that we are human beings with a mind who can learn from history and the events of today.”
In conclusion, Prime Minister Mottley thanked the UN for standing with regional Governments as they continue to fight major political battles for global moral strategic leadership. “So, my friends, we are here …in truth and in fact, to go to the heart of what we are facing as developing nations as small island, developing states and being able to put in place the mechanisms and recognizing that one of the deficiencies of small island developing states is the absence of capacity,” she underlined.
Also participating in the ceremony from Ilaro Court were Dr. Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Yitades Gebre – PAHO/ WHO Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ms. Tonni Brodber, UN Women Representative to the Caribbean and Ms. Vielka Alvarez, Deputy Country Director for Caribbean, World Food Programme. The UN Sub-regional team members also congratulated the Government of Barbados and gave assurances of their continued support .
The MSDCF identifies four key priorities for achieving resilient sustainable development in the region: increased support to the economic resilience agenda; intensified efforts to ensure realization of human rights for all; strong commitment to enhancing inclusive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation; and scaled up support to ensure that Caribbean societies remain peaceful and just societies.