Unilateral graduation of SIDS to Middle Income Status premature: Grenada

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Nickolas Steele, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Business of Grenada

The unilateral graduation of many Small Island Developing States to Middle Income Status is premature.

That's what Grenada's Foreign Minister Nickolas Steele told the 68th session of the UN General Assembly  on Monday.

He reiterated the call made in Agenda 21 for a more holistic and comprehensive set of indicators for classifying States. Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.

Foreign Minister Steele urged the international financial institutions to recognize the liabilities associated with natural disasters caused by climate change, noting that these liabilities underscore the need for reassessing the basis on which Small Island D eveloping States (SIDS) are graduated to Middle Income status thereby losing access to concessionary funding that is sorely needed.

” Grenada endorses support for low-income and fragile economies. Moreover, it is clear that several of the SIDS newly promoted to middle-income status, continue to struggle with high debt burdens which are worsened by climate change and high fossil fuel import bills. Many SIDS struggle with low productivity and low levels of competitiveness; they struggle with severe financial constraints and, in some cases, they struggle with limited prospects for immediate growth. The point is this: Per capita income as a sole measure without the context of climate-vulnerability does more harm than good.” (46″)

Foreign Minister Steele said Grenada was joining with other SIDS in urging shareholders, donors and the boards of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to translate the recognition of the vulnerability of SIDS to climate change into a meaningful package of financial and official development assistance.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’51″

 

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