Prime Minister Mia Mottley and France’s Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, discuss the effects of climate change on Barbados’ coastline while on a recent island tour. (C. Pitt/BGIS)
Barbados now has a key strategic ally in one of its G7 partners, France, which has pledged to assist with building financial capacity, creating protective frameworks and building resiliency to climate change for small island developing states.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley disclosed this recently, during a press conference at Ilaro Court, with France’s Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou.
Mottley praised President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership and voice in support of vulnerable countries.
She stated that countries could no longer ignore the issue of the climate crisis, which she warned was resulting in increased poverty and food insecurity for developing nations.
“There is a moment in everyone’s life…just as there is a moment in a country’s life when to stand still will only invite destruction. We live in a world…that is threatened by too many things now for us to contemplate staying still. This is not just about climate; it is also about our continued determination to claim development for our people.
“If we allow the threats of climate and the pandemic, and of violence and of the digital divide and of food insecurity to crowd out the traditional ambition of development as captured by the sustainable development goals, then our people will come to suffer, and regrettably, the world is going to become a very inhospitable place for us to live,” the Prime Minister added.
She suggested that global financial institutions were not adequately meeting the needs of developing countries, while pointing out that middle income countries were at risk of pauperisation because of the climate crisis, the pandemic and other exogenous shocks, including rising oil prices and inflation.
Meanwhile, Minister Zacharopoulou lauded Prime Minister Mottley for her “huge” contribution to global awareness around climate justice and the need for increased financing opportunities for vulnerable states.
The French Minister said France shares Barbados’ assessment regarding the major global challenges. Zacharopoulou, who was the first French Minister to visit Bridgetown on official business, was on a one-day trip to the island for talks with Prime Minister Mottley and other government officials.
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