Senior Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh has strongly advocated for access to concessional financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) given their multidimensional vulnerabilities.
He made this plea during the United Nations 2021 High-Level political forum titled ‘The Multi-dimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) and Small Island Developing States held virtually on Friday.
The Minister however told participants that the question of scale needs to be addressed after the first hurdle of access to concessional financing is crossed.
“The question of scale does need to be addressed because the reality is that adequate levels of concessional resources and adequate levels of development financing have not been mobilized to address the development challenges we face as a global community and the development challenges that SIDS in particular face,” Minister Singh noted.
The Senior Finance Minister while continuing to stress on the unique multidimensional
vulnerabilities faced by SIDS , alluded to the decades of research done under the auspices of the Commonwealth Secretariat in defining the peculiar vulnerabilities of small states but pointed out that rigorous articulation of these vulnerabilities needed to be moved to the point of a universally- accepted multi-dimensional index in order to form a basis on which access to concessional financing is allowed.
“We have to recognize the oneness …the interconnectedness of our world and this has been
reiterated amply by the onset of COVID-19 which has reminded us that events on one side of the world affect us on the other side of the world and so the reality is that the eradication of poverty globally is a global objective that we share and it is in everybody’s interest…the entire global community to ensure its achievement,” he added.
While elaborating even more on the effects of COVID-19 on SIDS as well as other recent disasters which these countries face, Minister Singh added, “there is clearly a strong and immediate recommitment to multilateralism and the shared objectives that we embrace as a global community.”
He concluded that there is need for accelerated action on climate change, urgent action to
harness the benefits of the ‘blue economy’ and the acknowledgement of the global community that long-standing developmental financing commitments (some dating all the way back to the 1970s) need to be delivered.
“We might think that we cannot afford to deliver on these commitments. I would say quite the opposite. We really as a global community cannot afford not to deliver on these commitments if we recognize the oneness, the interconnectedness and the intertwined nature of our nations in the global community,” the Senior Finance Minister reiterated.