THIRTY SPEAKERS ADDRESS SPECIAL SESSION ON IMPLEMENTATION OF BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION
Thirty speakers addressed the General Assembly this afternoon as it continued its two-day special session to review progress achieved in implementing the Programme of Action adopted at the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Barbados, 1994).
Many speakers stressed that the international community must act with more urgency to address the needs of such States, and support their efforts for sustainable development. Speakers drew attention to a wide range of issues, including the need for protecting such States against the negative impact of globalization, environmental degradation, poverty, natural disasters and climate change.
Regarding the impact of globalization, the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados, Billie Miller, called for transitional arrangements to enable such States to adjust to full trade liberalization. Their attempts to diversify should be supported and they should be afforded protection against the insidious spread of transnational crime. The vulnerability index could be an important element in considering a country’s graduation from concessionary financing; international development institutions should accept and apply it.
The Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Housing of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris, emphasized the need to address such issues as crime and drug trafficking, poverty alleviation and unemployment, as they threatened the national security of small island developing States. The Caribbean Sea was a special development area, he said, especially in respect to the transboundary movement of hazardous and radioactive wastes. Member States and the United Nations system should actively support efforts to implement this concept, and take action to avert the threat of pollution from ship-generated waste.
- The Minister of Internal Affairs of the Marshall Islands, Hiroshi Yamamura, called for the international community to be more cognizant of the calamitous effects of climate change. The Marshall Islands was trying to respond to climate change, but there seemed to be no evidence that the countries most responsible for it would take serious steps until they themselves felt its effects. Warning that the tragic