Need to address "unique needs" of Caribbean countries

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses journalists at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Evan Schneider (file image)

Caribbean leaders have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to strengthen partnership opportunities during what he described as a "vital year for humanity".

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a High Level Symposium on sustainable economic development in the Caribbean, being held in Barbados.

He said some of the most vulnerable countries in the world are in the region.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN chief saluted Caribbean countries for taking on ambitious renewable energy targets.

He said that by 2020, Barbados will be one of the world's top five leading users of solar energy on a per capita basis.

Addressing Heads of State and Government from the region, he stressed the need to act in meaningful ways to address the unique needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing states.

Meanwhile, at an event on ending gender-based violence, Mr Ban said Barbados has been reforming its legislation and working to confront this problem.

The UN agency for gender equality, UN Women, and the Barbados Attorney General are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to boost efforts for women to have greater access to justice.

Three Caribbean countries are reportedly in the global top ten for recorded rapes. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 55"

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