Antiguan diplomat anticipates SIDS4 Conference in Antigua and Barbuda could mark major turning point for future of island nations


Antigua and Barbuda will have a unique opportunity to stake its place in history next year when it hosts the 4th SIDS Conference, a once every decade meeting that brings together the foremost minds and political leaders from small island nations from across the globe.


The event comes as these islands continue to face constant pressure on their economies from burdensome debt and the devastating consequences of climate change. Small Island Developing States have unrelentingly sought to devise solutions, advocated the international community, and petitioned international financial institutions for remedies and solutions, but to no avail.


Antigua and Barbuda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mr. Tumasie Blair said the time has come for a tectonic shift from traditional approaches and perhaps next year’s meeting in Antigua and Barbuda, with the unprecedented global attention it will receive, will emerge as their best possible chance yet.


“The 4TH SIDS Conference presents the opportune time for us to make our demands known and no longer retreat until our demands are met,” Blair emphatically told a meeting of SIDS which was held this week on the margins of the UN’s High Level Political Forum in New York.


“The current global outlook demands a global shift for SIDS, perhaps we ourselves need to shift how we shape our ‘asks’ by moving them from mere requests to demands,” the high-level diplomat told the meeting.



A major imperative for the Antigua and Barbuda diplomat is ensuring that SIDS make meaningful use of the remaining months until the conference to impact and influence every possible opportunity to ensure SIDS4 is a resounding success.


Blair said SIDS need to take advantage of every opportunity before the Conference to make their demands known and forcefully insert their perspectives at major events.


“There are numerous global events that will help pave the way to SIDS4, processes inside the United Nations and external to the UN. All must be seen as important and of equal weight. We must engage on each and all of them. We must have a say in policy directives and we must ensure that the means of implementation accompany those directives,” he continued.


A significant portion of this week’s SIDS meeting was dedicated to looking forward to the 4th SIDS Conference and how the international community could best partner with SIDS in achieving its development goals despite the prevailing challenges.


Out of the 4th Conference will come the “Antigua and Barbuda Accord for SIDS” otherwise known as ABAS. Besides the significant and far-reaching outcomes that it will likely achieve for island nations, the conference is set to bring major benefits to all areas of Antigua and Barbuda’s economy as it will be the largest such meeting to be hosted anywhere in the Caribbean.

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  1. Don’t quote me on this, but I hope our government have some ideas to put on the table that will move our country forward and out of this porverty stricken mess we are in, and not just the rich getting richer.

    • you sound lazy like u wait around for handouts. The people you label as “poverty stricken” are owners of their own vehicles thanks to this government’s decison to allow the importation of cars. You thnk is just the rich who go to H & H should be able to afford vehicles?? Heavy investment in EDUCATION (way out of poverty) and job creation in both Antigua and Barbuda. UWI Five Islands, ABICE, ABIIT and other institutions are avialable for all to take advantage of the opportunity to equip themeselves with the necessary knowledge and skills.

      what are YOU dong to “move our country forward”?? Ranting, raving and kicking up but not lifting a finger to ensure that “Each Endeavouring All Achieving”

  2. Education is among the best route out of poverty, but along the way our lost out sense of logic and value.
    The very objects of desire: owning a car is a standard of achievement in Antigua and Barbuda.
    The paradox is, Gaston rant and raves as chairman of SIDS when the very objects and symbols he promotes; cars on the roads being one of them are major contributors to global warming.

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