Deputy Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley recently called for a focus on climate financing for the 14 associate member countries of the United Nations Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean when the AMCs next meet for high-level talks in 2022.

Dr. Wheatley made the proposal at the 20th Meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee on be- half of Premier Andrew Fahie, who is a vice-chair of the CDCC and a leading advocate for the AMCs in the UN system, according to a government press release.

“The British Virgin Islands and other AMCs very much welcomed ECLAC Chair Costa Rica’s commitment to a second meeting of the AMCs in 2022 within the frame of Fifth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development,” Dr. Wheatley said. “Among other things, I recommend that we place on the agenda resource mobilisation and development cooperation for climate change adaptation in the AMCs, most of whom are not covered by the Paris Climate Change Agreement, but yet have huge resource constraints and gaps to be filled in successfully building climate resilience.”

He went on to describe the damage inflicted by hurricanes Irma and Maria on the Virgin Islands and the funding challenges to rebuild in the aftermath caused by the two unprecedented Category Five hurricanes.

The attendees also discussed the ongoing challenges posed to the Caribbean by the Covid-19 pandemic, and other critical issues such as the establishment of the Caribbean Resilience Fund to help mobilise resources for Caribbean governments classified as middle- and high- income to build their resilience as small island developing states.

In 2021, for instance, the Virgin Islands, represented by Mr. Fahie, chaired the first-ever ECLAC High-Level Meeting of the AMCs on their challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ac- cording to government. The 20th Monitoring Committee Meeting of the CDCC took place on Nov. 5. Dr. Wheatley was joined by Special Envoy of the Premier Benito Wheatley.