PRESS RELEASE – The Government of Saint Lucia on Thursday, June 19, 2014 will host the first meeting of a high-level CARICOM Task Force on sustainable development in the conference room of the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting.
Saint Lucia’s Minister for Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, James Fletcher, has been chosen by the CARICOM Secretariat to chair this regional task force.
In July 2013, CARICOM Heads of Government “agreed to the establishment of a regional task force on the Post-2015 development agenda to co-ordinate the substantive engagement of the Community in the work to define the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and preparations for the Third SIDS conference in a manner that assured due account of CARICOM priorities and concerns”.
The Third UN Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference will take place in Apia, Samoa in September 2014 and is expected to be used by CARICOM Member States to highlight the sub-region’s development priorities and to strongly advocate the region’s approach to implementation of its programme of action.
The international SIDS conference is also expected to be used as a platform to strengthen international support for the new and emerging development issues and the restatement of the vulnerability of Caribbean SIDS.
In March of this year, CARICOM Heads expanded the mandate of the task force to encompass broader sustainable development issues, in particular those related to the ongoing climate change and SIDS negotiations, and also the process related to the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda. It is expected that a new, comprehensive international climate change agreement will be adopted by world leaders at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France in 2015.
In addition to Fletcher, the CARICOM Task Force also comprises Saint Lucia’s Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer, Crispin d’Auvergne, high-level representatives of the Governments of Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the University of the West Indies, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), and the Assistant Secretary General for Human and Social Development of the CARICOM Secretariat.
Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, Kenny D. Anthony, has lead responsibility for sustainable development in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet.