Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Christopher Tufton on Wednesday morning, called on the international community to put aside it’s business as usual mindset in favor of urgent, concrete action for the benefit of small island states struggling to meet their development goals.
Addressing the opening of the High Level Segment of the 17th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York City, Dr. Tufton told an audience of prime ministers, presidents, diplomats and distinguished delegates that given the scale and magnitude of the challenges confronting members states of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), “this session of the CSD must give priority attention to the special and important needs and concerns of our countries”.
Speaking for and on behalf of the thirty-seven member states from the Caribbean, Pacific and Oceana regions, Dr. Tufton warned that against the existential issue of climate change, the role of the international community in the provision of financing, technology and capacity building is not only necessary but vital and that further delay risks endangering our very existence.
“While we have contributed the least to this single most urgent threat, we have no choice but to bear the heavy brunt of its impact. It not only poses barriers to our sustainable development goals, but further threatens our economic and physical survival,” Dr. Tufton said.
Noting that there was no time like the present, Dr. Tufton informed that it is therefore critical that the outcome of the meeting includes bold and far-reaching policy options to address the special needs and concerns of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in achieving their sustainable development goals in agriculture, rural development, land, desertification and drought.
Her Excellency Mrs. Gerda Verburg, Chair of the 17th Session of the CSD, in her opening statement, called for a ‘home grown green revolution in ideas, technology, agriculture and trade policies and market access as well as new, creative and innovative thinking toward the achievement of sustainable development.
The session concludes on Friday, May 15, with a series of round table debates on, “responding to the food crisis through sustainable development”.