Ambassador Webson tours Germany on the sidelines of G-7 Summit


The Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations in his capacity of Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) led a delegation to Berlin, Germany to engage bilaterally with government and parliamentary representatives and civil society officials on climate change, debt crisis facing SIDS, multidimensional vulnerability index (MVI), the Covid-19 pandemic response and other global issues affecting SIDS.

Upon the invitation and the collaboration with Jubilee -Germany, these meetings occurred on the sidelines of the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Germany during the week.

The first of these meetings were a bilateral with the Special Envoy and State Secretary within the German Foreign Affairs Ministry- Jennifer Morgan where Ambassador Webson outlined the need for the German government to increase support for SIDS and demonstrate leadership as SIDS try to address the climate crisis and debt crisis and the need for Germany to offer its full support for the creation and use of an MVI for SIDS.

Both agreed to engaged further through the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations and the membership of AOSIS.

Ambassador Webson’s plight for Germany to play a vital role for safeguarding SIDS resounded well with State Secretary, Jennifer Morgan and she gave a commitment to follow up and meet with the members of AOSIS on a visit to New York in the summer.

The bilateral engagement with Dr. Julia Lehmann-Head of Division on Debt Issues- German Development Ministry centered around similar lines for Germany’s assistance related to the debt crisis and the climate crisis faced by SIDS.

Ambassador Webson asked that Germany’s Global Shield on debt assessment proposed by the coalition agreement be used as an instrument be used for analyzing the humanitarian crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis on nature when address the vulnerability of SIDS.

During his weeklong visit, Ambassador Webson also met with Deborah During and Till Mansmann, members of the Green Party and Liberal Party respectively, and both members of the German Bundestag, who forms a part of the German coalition government. Ambassador Webson echoed the need for SIDS’ voice to be heard at the upcoming heads G7 meeting.

This he said is critical as there is a need for SIDS to clearly articulate the type of support that is needed from the G7.

He explored the possibility of Prime Minister Browne of Antigua and Barbuda in his capacity of Chair of AOSIS be invited to a G7 meeting to expound on the issues affecting SIDS rather than G7 speaking for SIDS without first hearing from them directly.

During both bilateral, Ambassador Webson explored the possibility for support from representative of Germany on the call for a debt relief mechanism for SIDS and an increase in climate and development finance for small states.

Both parliamentarians committed to championing SIDS within the German government and gave their assurances that there will be an improvement in Germany’s relationship with the members of AOSIS.

Ambassador Webson and the delegation left Berlin and participated in a panel discussion in Bonn.

The panelists included: Thomas Schäkermann, Multilateral Development Banks, Debt restructurings, Paris Club, German Federal Ministry of Finance, Marcello Estevão, Global Director Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment, World Bank, Dennis Shen, Director Sovereign and Public Sector, Scope Ratings, Prof. James Thuo Gathii, African Sovereign Debt Justice Network.

The panel addressed the state of the global community and how practical measures could be used to protect the most vulnerable countries in particular SIDS.

The panel discussion took place along the sidelines of the official reception of the G7 ministers of finance.

Upon his return to Berlin, Ambassador Webson ended his weeklong engagement with Uli Volz-professor at SOAS London and Joerg Haas-Heinrich Boell Foundation.

A range of issues were discussed including comprehensively addressing the unsustainable debt of SIDS. Agreement was made on a possible two step approach to the SIDS debt crisis that involved advocacy and the development of tailored debt solutions for SIDS.

His Excellency, Ambassador Aubrey Webson, was accompanied by Mr. Tumasie Blair, Team Lead for Antigua and Barbuda’s Chairmanship of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and lead negotiator for sustainable development and macroeconomic policy issues and Mr. Claxton Duberry, AOSIS Coordinator.


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