March 27, 2023
New York, NY (March 27, 2023) — At the milestone United Nations Water Conference held from 22-24 March, 2023 in New York, Saint Lucia launched a global CALL FOR ACTION on Water Security and Climate Resilience in Small Island Developing States towards SDGs and SAMOA Pathway achievement.
This UN Water Conference, the first in 46 years and co-hosted by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Tajikistan, aimed at raising awareness of the global water crisis and accelerating action towards sustainable water resource management. Member States adopted a Water Action Agenda as a primary outcome, representing voluntary commitments to meeting global water-related goals and targets.
Within the margins of the Water Conference, at a side event focusing on mobilizing partnerships and strengthening existing collaborations, Saint Lucia in partnership with the Governments of Cabo Verde, Palau, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), UNESCO, and UN-OHRLLS, launched the joint Call for Action on enhancing SIDS resilience. The event was also attended by Climate Envoy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands His Royal Highness Prince Jamie de Bourbon de Parme, who praised this initiative.
Hon Stephenson King, Senior Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Transport, Physical Development, and Urban Renewal highlighted the progress made in placing water and its management at the core of Saint Lucia’s national development and climate policies. He emphasized that significant increases in investments in water and water infrastructure are needed if small island economies such as Saint Lucia are to meet the magnitude of interventions required to address challenges in the water sector.
UNESCO who plays a key role in supporting SIDS on water security, through Deputy Director-General Mr. Xing Qu, reiterated the strong focus placed on SIDS within their programming highlighting the 1st UNESCO operational strategy for SIDS currently being developed to address their specific needs, with water security being a key pillar.
With water at the core of sustainable development, this call for action lays the foundation to facilitate tangible cooperative action which will enable small island developing states such as Saint Lucia in reducing vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, building a more resilient water sector.