Monday, June 25, 2012 – In his address to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20, recently, Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Senator the Honourable Dr. James Fletcher highlighted the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States like Saint Lucia.
Dr. Fletcher stressed that Saint Lucia’s vulnerability as a Small State continues to be compounded by a myriad of factors, therefore, he says, it is not reasonable to expect countries such as ours to be able to take responsive action in the same manner or to the same extent as some of the more fortunate global village neighbours.
For this reason, Dr. Fletcher says, the Government of Saint Lucia fully supports the inclusion of Common But Differentiated Responsibility in the outcome document of the pivotal Rio +20 conference.
“Moreover, consistent with the Green Economy approach to development, a follow-up to this conference should focus on developing economic models to support sustainable development. Issues of production, consumption, distribution, assignment of economic valuation to natural resources, social equity, good governance and common property are some of the factors that we must consider in this regard. Saint Lucia subscribes to the position that climate change is the single greatest environmental and sustainable development challenge confronting us at this time. ”
The future Saint Lucia wants, the Minister says, is one where there is commitment at the highest level to an international response to climate change and its impacts – particularly water and food insecurity.
It is also one in which the international community applies sound ocean governance in order to ensure the sustainable use of our marine space and its resources. “Mr. President, like many economies in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia is highly dependent on fossil fuels and spends a significant amount of its foreign exchange reserves to procure petroleum products. This scenario is not sustainable. Therefore, our country is committed to ensuring a secure energy future for our citizens and is dedicated to efforts to exploit sustainable, clean and renewable energy resources. The future we want ensures sustainable energy for all and we anticipate that this Rio+20 Conference outcome document will reflect this as an international goal.”
Dr. Fletcher urged conference participants to build and improve upon the solid foundation laid twenty years ago in Rio de Janeiro, and ensure that Rio+20 will be remembered as a milestone for genuine progress toward Sustainable Development for everyone.