On Friday 18 March, AOSIS lost a leader, Dr. Hugh Sealy. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda and Chair of AOSIS, expresses it deepest condolences to the family of Hugh and the people of Barbados.
Hugh dedicated much of his life to AOSIS priorities and was a true champion for his nation, the Caribbean region, and small islands globally. Hugh’s commitment to the survival and development of small island states was unwavering. Among his many hats, Hugh was a Co-Facilitator for Article 6, Barbados’ Special Envoy for Climate Change, and a lecturer at The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, and yet still found the time to be our fierce mitigation champion as AOSIS Coordinator for Mitigation in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change.
Hugh was an exceptional negotiator, always with a good debate, new insights, a witty comment, and a passionate intervention, during which he always managed to reflect on one of his favourite sports – cricket. He had a passion for learning and was just as passionate about passing that on to the next generation through his work with The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados and previously with St. George’s University in Grenada.
Hugh has profoundly touched all of our lives over the years, within the Caribbean and across the three regions of our Membership. This has been apparent in the time since his passing, with hundreds of commemorative posts from all corners of our treasured planet – from Heads of Government and Heads of United Nations Organisations and Bodies to his students; from Jamaica to the United Kingdom to Singapore, Palau and beyond.
The advances we have made to date in the international process to tackle climate change are the product of the dedicated hard work of individual men and women, like Hugh. He worked
tirelessly over the years to get an agreement at COP26 on one of the most difficult and contentious issues in the UNFCCC, the issue of markets and non-market approaches under the Paris Agreement. We will be eternally grateful or Hugh’s contribution to the climate change agenda and for Hugh’s staunch defence of AOSIS positions and the priorities of small island developing states.
Just days ago, Hugh was strategizing for the mitigation work programme to be agreed at COP27 and always discussing ways to ensure we keep 1.5°C in reach. The best way we can honour his legacy is to never give up the fight to deliver on our collective ambition to deliver the reductions needed to keep below 1.5°C and safeguard a world for future generations.
An online messaging board has been established for Hugh’s friends and colleagues from all corners of the earth to share memories of Hugh and condolences for his family. This can be found at the following link: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/5idj07Pv.
Please do not hesitate to let us know how we may assist in commemorating Dr. Hugh Sealy’s legacy and share this information with the AOSIS Membership.
May Hugh Rest in Peace.
Ambassador Aubrey Webson
Chair of AOSIS 2021-2022
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