09 May 2018
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

The Government of Saint Lucia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations (UNECLAC), hosted the fifth meeting of the Caribbean Development Round Table, under the theme "Promoting Climate Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth in the Caribbean." This was held in tandem with the twenty-seventh session of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee on April 26th and 27th.

During the meetings, Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, who is also the Chairperson of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee, called for deliberate action in dealing with climate change, questioning the preparedness of the region for the hurricane season, which is one month away.

“Climate change doesn’t discriminate,” he said. “It does not have any empathy for you because you are a poor country. It does not have any empathy because more people are unemployed. It does not have any empathy because people in your country are older. It does not have any empathy that you are not prepared. There is no pause button that you can press to get your house in order—it is coming. The sad reality for us in the Caribbean and the most frustrating part of what we are having to face is that we can’t control it. Therefore, the only thing we can do is build resilience. So I am appealing to ECLAC to make sure they become the great generation of implementers.”

Among a number of topical issues discussed at last week’s meeting, was the financing of green investment for resilience building and structural transformation in the Caribbean; the vulnerability of Caribbean economies caused by de-risking and challenges to the offshore financial sector; and implementing the ECLAC debt swap initiative.