22 August 2019
UN Resident Coordinator Supporting Rebuilding Agenda
UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Mr. Didier Trebucq, reaffirmed the UN’s support to the Government of Montserrat on its resilience building agenda.
This commitment was made when the UN Resident Coordinator presented his letter of credence to Governor His Excellency Andrew Pearce, on 8 August, in his new role as Resident Coordinator of the UN System for Barbados and the OECS as of 15 January 2019, appointed by and representing the United Nations Secretary-General.
Mr. Trebucq was accompanied by Mr. Aloys Kamuragiye, Representative of the UNICEF Office of the Eastern Caribbean, to pay courtesy calls on Governor Andrew Pearce, Premier The Hon. Donaldson Romeo, members of Cabinet and Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Joseph Farrell.
Whilst on the ground, the UN Resident Coordinator heard recounts of a country which was a popular tourist destination and home to the Beatles Manager George Martin, who established a recording studio in 1979, attracting several international records artists to a study he established in 1979; a country devasted first by Hurricane Hugo in 1989: 50% of the island was destroyed, displacing several thousand Montserratians, severely damaging buildings homes and leaving the island without electricity, water or any form of communication. Mr. Trebucq also learnt of the further devastation to the territory in 1995 and again in 2003, when massive volcanic eruptions destroyed the capital city of Plymouth, with hot mud and ash, completely ruining the airport, seaport and making the south of the island uninhabitable.
This island, once home to 12,000 people, saw its population dwindling to to 2,500 with many inhabitants fleeing to the United Kingdom, nearby Antigua and Barbuda and other Caribbean countries. Today, 25 years later, Mr. Trebucq was also briefed on the long recovery path, symbolic of challenges faced by Caribbean Small Island Developing States who find themselves challenged to adequately finance disaster risk reduction, recovery and reconstruction efforts, further making the case for vulnerability to be used as a criterion for ODA assistance.
Mr. Trebucq’s visit, which took place weeks ahead of the 74th UN General Assembly session and High Level Event on Financing for Development, was an opportunity for him to reaffirm the Secretary General’s commitment to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to support their improved access to development financing and adjustment of eligibility criteria for ODA, to include a vulnerability criteria in addition to Gross National Income per capita; as well speedy and predictable climate financing.
During his visit, Mr. Trebucq also updated Members of the Cabinet and other partners on the United Nations development system reform which came into effect on 1 January 2019 and on his role as Resident Coordinator in supporting countries with the achievement of the SDGs by leveraging the UN’s cooperation. Several areas of strategic cooperation between the United Nations System and the British Overseas Territory were discussed in support of Montserrat’s national development priorities.
As of 1 January 2019, within the framework of the United Nations development system (UNDS) reform, the Resident Coordinator is the highest-ranking official of the UNDS and Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General at country level. The Resident Coordinator leads the United Nations Sub-Regional Team in support of the operational activities for development in countries along with Agencies, Fund and Programmes Representatives. The Resident Coordinator’s Office provides support with ensuring coherence, articulation and coordination of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes to deliver as one towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in countries.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that call of a urgent global action on: No poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace, justice and strong institutions; partnerships for the goals.
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