CLOSING REMARKS BY
PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE THE HONOURABLE ANDREW A. FAHIE
AT THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON THE CHALLENGES OF THE ASSOCIATE MEMBERS OF ECLAC
IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (VIRTUAL)
ON MONDAY, MARCH 15 2021
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I will make brief closing remarks.
We have had an excellent dialogue today regarding the challenges faced by the Associate Member Countries of ECLAC in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It was important to engage the Chair, Executive Secretary, wider UN system, regional organisations and each other, on these challenges and the support that we require. It is clear that greater support to Associate Members is needed to advance sustainable development in terms of administrative capacity, policy expertise, technology transfer and financial resources.
Today was just the beginning of the work that must be done to mainstream the Associate Members of ECLAC into the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initial efforts have gained us participation in the Fourth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. However, we must now use the opportunity presented by the Forum to further engage with the wider ECLAC family. We must seize every opportunity to sensitise the non-Associate Members of the Commission to the common challenges we share with them in the pursuit of sustainable development. Also, we must express our desire to tackle these challenges together.
I sincerely believe that better understanding of the situation of the Associate Members will strengthen our cooperation with ECLAC, and support from ECLAC, and the wider UN system. I encourage every Associate Member to make at least one intervention this week at the Forum.
I again want to sincerely thank Costa Rica as Chair of ECLAC for their warm embrace of the Associate Members and commitment to leave no one behind. Ambassador Rodrigo Carazo we are grateful to the Chair and highly appreciative of your presence and the support of your colleague Her Excellency Ambassador Adriana Solano.
I would also like to thank ECLAC Executive Secretary, Ms. Alicia Barcena, and her team for their commitment and dedication to making this meeting a reality. Special thanks go out to Mrs. Diane Quarless, Director of the ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean, and her team for their unyielding support to the British Virgin Islands, the Associate Members of ECLAC, CDCC and the Caribbean subregion as a whole. You are indispensable.
Thank you also to the Secretary of the Commission of ECLAC, Mr. Luis Yanez, and his very able Political Officer, Ms. Lydia Geny, for their ironclad commitment to ensuring the inclusion of the Caribbean in the work of the commission.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank my own team without whom I could not perform this role. Special thanks to my Special Envoy Mr. Benito Wheatley who continues to drive our work in this area, as well as my Permanent Secretary Dr. Carolyn O’Neal-Morton Wheatley, Deputy Secretary Mrs. Elvia Smith-Maduro, the Director of the International Affairs Secretariat Ms. Najan Christopher, Assistant Secretary for External Affairs Ms. Dwynel Davis and Programme Officer Ms. Xyrah Wheatley.
As we close, I take this opportunity to thank everyone for attending and for the very valuable contributions. What is clear is that we as Associate Members of ECLAC and our partners must continue to meet to drive forward our sustainable development and deeper involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean. I hope this can be done on an annual basis and recommend that this is further discussed at the next meeting of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee to find a way forward.
I hereby declare closed this High-Level Meeting on the Challenges Faced by the Associate Members of ECLAC in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Have an enjoyable afternoon and I look forward to your participation at the Forum over the course of the rest of this week.
I thank you.