Barbados will sign a five-year partnership declaration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) early next month.
The agreement will be signed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on the side-lines of the September 1-4 Third International United Nations Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference in Samoa
A government statement said the five-year partnership, which seeks to promote sustainable low-carbon industrial development, builds on Barbados’ green economy thrust, with emphasis on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
“As a result of the partnership, inter alia, an eco-industrial park with integrated resource efficiency management systems will be developed in the north of this island; a resource efficiency and technology innovation centre for MSMEs will be set up in Barbados, and an eco-innovation capacity building platform for green enterprises in SIDS will be established,” the statement said.
It quoted Prime Minister Stuart as underscoring the importance of the partnership, saying it will bring benefits to Barbados and SIDS.
“It will help Barbados to advance its green economy, renewable energy and sustainable development objectives,” said Prime Minister Stuart, who also noted that is important that SIDS leaders attend the Samoa conference.
“We need to be a part of the conversation in Samoa. We cannot stay at home. We must go and articulate our own case. We cannot afford to leave the putting of our case to others who may not put it as forcefully as we can.”
He said that Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments view the conference as extremely important and that there should be participation at the prime ministerial and ministerial levels, as well as by Irwin La Rocque, the CARICOM Secretary General.
Stuart said that SIDS had made significant efforts at the national and regional levels to implement the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation (MSI) of the BPOA.
“We have mainstreamed sustainable development principles into national development policies and undertaken political commitments to promote and raise awareness of the importance of sustainable development issues.”
Prime Minister Stuart said it would be easy for the realities of island nations to get overlooked amidst the economic challenges facing countries and the international community at this time. But he stressed that this “is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to have our challenges, capabilities and decisions clearly outlined for all to understand”.
The Samoa conference will discuss the Pathway Outcome Document that was developed during the national and regional preparatory meetings held here last year.
“This document represents a significant achievement for SIDS in preparation for the formal negotiating process with international partners, ahead of the conference,” Stuart said.
The SIDS conference is structured around several strategic and political dialogues, including forums dedicated to youth, major groups, renewable energy and the private sector. In addition to plenary sessions, there will be multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues, side events, parallel events and a SIDS Village.