16th March 2022, New York – The Honourable Dean Jonas, Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy of Antigua and Barbuda, met with the Honourable Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth of the Republic of Ireland, on the sidelines of the 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The engagement between the two Ministers was fruitful as they both discussed issues of mutual interests and areas to deepen cooperation. The discussion delved into clean Oceans, educational opportunities, business development and investments in the Blue Economy.
Ireland shares similar perspectives on the issues of Blue Economy and Climate change and has staunchly advocated for these themes to be robustly discussed at the multilateral level. For instance, the country has advocated that climate change should be considered a global security risk. The risk is immeasurable and threatens the existence of many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – like Antigua and Barbuda.
In light of the present energy crisis, both Ministers shared sentiments in pursuing renewable energy to lessen dependence on fossil fuels. Ambassador Webson informed that Antigua and Barbuda is pushing forward with wind and solar energy and the ocean agenda. The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus is earmarked as a Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy. The vision is to establish a formal relationship with one of the tertiary institutions in Ireland.
The meeting ended with Minister Jonas expressing gratitude to the Republic of Ireland for their unwavering support to Antigua and Barbuda in many issues on the bilateral and multilateral level. Moreover, there was a call on the Irish representative for greater advocacy collaboration within the European Union on demystifying the operation of Citizen by Investment Programmes (CIP), and for an increase in scholarship opportunities for nationals of Antigua and Barbuda.
Minister Jonas was accompanied by His Excellency, Ambassador Aubrey Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, Mr. Glentis Thomas, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, and Mr. Jamie Sanders, Acting Director of Gender Affairs.
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