Dominica calls for international support for small island developing states

09:22, September 26, 2010      

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Nicholas J.O. Liverpool, president of Dominica, said here Saturday that the United Nations and its member states must do their part to protect Small Island Developing States (SIDS) from the threats of climate change and economic downturns.

Liverpool's statements came as he addressed the annual general debate of the UN General Assembly with the theme of "reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in global governance."

Liverpool said that in recent years the situation of SIDS has become "even more precarious."

"The impacts of the world food and fuel crises in 2007 and the financial crisis in 2008 have clearly demonstrated the open and vulnerable nature of our economies," he said. "This, coupled with the impact of climate change, strengthens the case for a unique position for Small Island Developing States and hence a more prominent place within the United Nations system as a recognized category with all of the attendant benefits and obligations."

The president of Dominica told the 192-member General Assembly that developed countries must fulfill their obligations in regard to official development assistance (ODA) and developing states should engage in further south-south cooperation in order to help SIDS meet development challenges.

Liverpool stressed the importance of concluding the Doha Development Round, current trade negotiations occurring through the World Trade Organization (WTO), in a manner that acknowledges the unique needs of developing nations.

"This will provide developing countries with an opportunity to compete in the global trading system and place greater emphasis on trade rather than aid," he said.

Liverpool also emphasized the impacts of climate change, saying that Dominica and other SIDS "can speak of our experience with the increasing intensity of hurricanes, droughts, floods, destruction to coastal areas and rising sea levels."

"These have had severe impacts on our agriculture, tourism, and physical infrastructure especially along our coasts," he said.

He added that the UN and member states should step up their efforts to negotiate a more effective climate change agreement at the next major climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, than the one drafted at Copenhagen in December 2009.

"The failure at Copenhagen should be further motivation for all countries to work assiduously towards an agreement in Mexico," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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