Small Island States impacted negatively by climate change: Ambassador King
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has warned of the negative impact of climate change on Small- Island Developing States (SIDS).
The Permanent Representative of the Island State Ambassador I. Rhonda King told a meeting of the Group of 77 developing countries and China that it is difficult to ignore the realities of Climate Change and its impact on Small Island States.
Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community, Ambassador King noted that CARICOM has been an important voice on Climate Change matters and an active participant in the Alliance of Small island States (AOSIS) and by extension the G'77.
She expressed the hope that under the leadership of the new chairman of the Group – Bolivia, "we will continue to shine a bright light on this issue which threatens the viability of some of our small island states".
According to Ambassador King, many United Nations member states are still not aware that on December 24th, 2013–just three weeks ago–Dominica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines experienced the devastating effects of the worst flash floods in recent history caused by unprecedented and torrential rains. Nine people were killed on mainland St. Vincent which was the hardest hit and six died in St. Lucia. Early estimates of the resulting infrastructural damage to St. Vincent and the Grenadines alone are expected to exceed US$160 million.
Ambassador King recalled that in 2010 and again in 2011, unseasonal weather systems wreaked havoc in St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines causing millions of dollars in damage.
A number of delegations expressed solidarity with the government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
And, the Chair of the G'77 – Bolivia drew attention to the upcoming third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction within the post-2015 framework scheduled for Japan in March 2015. He noted that negotiations would begin during his chairmanship.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.