Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has applauded the outstanding contribution of Ms. Alicia Barcena to the advancement of Latin America and the Caribbean during her tenure as Executive Secretary of the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which ended on 31st March 2022.
In recent remarks at the Fifth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, Premier Fahie praised Ms. Barcena’s exemplary and steadfast leadership of ECLAC for over a decade.
“I want to acknowledge the tremendous leadership of my dear friend, Alicia Barcena, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC. She has been steadfast in her work of helping our region to navigate the various challenges and crises we have experienced since she took the helm in 2008. She has seen us through the Financial Crisis, natural disasters of different kinds, COVID-19 and other external shocks and disruptions. At the same time, Alicia has worked tirelessly to help keep us on track regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Virgin Islands salutes her outstanding contribution to Latin America and the Caribbean and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours,” Premier Fahie said.
He also thanked the former ECLAC Chief for “her staunch commitment to ensuring the Associate Member Countries of ECLAC received greater attention in the regional dialogue on sustainable development” and for the excellent working relationship he enjoyed with her and the continued robust cooperation between ECLAC and the Virgin Islands.
Additionally, in his statement at the Forum’s Interactive Dialogue on an Innovative Financing Agenda for Recovery and the Contribution of Regional and International Development Banks, Premier Fahie opined that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will continue to face funding challenges, particularly for sustainable development, because their vulnerability to climate change and other catastrophic events are not generally considered by international donors.
According to Premier Fahie, “Until vulnerability is accepted as a factor in the eligibility criteria for concessional financing and grants, Small Island Developing States will not have access to the level of funding support that they need to recover from natural disasters and the global pandemic, and also to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
Premie Fahie is currently a Vice Chair of UN ECLAC’s Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) that supports the sustainable development of the Caribbean as a subregion.
The Fifth Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean took place from 7th-9th March 2022 in San Jose, Costa Rica in hybrid format. Premier Fahie participated virtually and was joined by Special Envoy of the Premier, Mr. Benito Wheatley and Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, Ms. Dwynel Davis.
Top: Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie
Below: Former UN ECLAC Executive Secretary Ms. Alicia Barcena