The Virgin Islands was re-elected last Thursday as the vice chair of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee, a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
At the 28th session of the CDCC, Premier Andrew Fahie was chosen on behalf of the VI for the territory’s third consecutive two-year term in the role, according to Government Information Services.
A GIS statement explained that the VI’s re-election was based on Mr. Fahie’s advocacy within ECLAC regarding the sustainable development of smallisland developing states, including the 15 associate members of the regional commission.
Cuba and Dominica were also elected as vice chairs.
In his role, the premier will support newly elected CDCC Chairman Camillo Gonsalves, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines minister of finance, economic planning, sustainable development, and information and communications technology.
That responsibility will include providing support in advancing the CDCC’s agenda as the region grapples with Covid-19 and calls for international support and other solutions, according to GIS.
Mr. Fahie is also expected to co-chair a proposed summit of associate members of ECLAC next year to discuss their challenges, progress and needed support to implement the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which has been impacted by Covid-19 and other developments, GIS stated.
“I am humbled by our region’s confidence in me, and the BVI as an associate member country of ECLAC, to serve as a vice chair of CDCC during these very challenging times in which we as SIDS are all combatting Covid-19, facing an active hurricane season, and under intense economic pressure,” Mr.Fahie said.
The premier also attended the virtual sixth meeting of the Caribbean Development Round table last Thursday.
While delivering a statement during the session, he stressed the need for the Caribbean’s external partners to consider the vulnerability of small island developing states that remain at high risk from climate change.
“I genuinely hope that vulnerability will emerge as the leading criterion in determining assistance to SIDS, regardless of income level,” he said. “The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Official Development Assistance rules remain too rigid when it comes to eligibility for financial assistance after a catastrophic event such as we experienced in 2017.”
Ahead of meetings of the CDCC and CDR, Mr. Fahie also attended the UN virtual High-Level Meeting of Finance Ministers on Sept. 8 to discuss “financing for development in the Covid-19 era,” according to GIS.
He was joined at the meetings by Financial Secretary Glenroy Forbes; Premier’s Office Permanent Secretary Dr. Carolyn O’Neal-Morton; Premier’s Office Deputy Secretary Elvia Smith-Maduro; International Affairs Secretariat Director Najan Christopher; and his special envoy, Benito Wheatley.