Above: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Barbados (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)
By Dana Niland
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is visiting Barbados for the 2015 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit, has commended Caribbean states for their initiatives towards a “sustainable” future.
This week’s trip was Ban’s first visit to Barbados, which he opened by addressing the Caribbean Sustainable Development High Level Dialogue.
“I want to salute Caribbean countries for taking on ambitious renewable energy targets,” Ban said. “By 2020, for example, Barbados will be one of the world’s top five leading users of solar energy on a per capita basis. You are lighting the path to the future.”
Ban added that the region is “hallowed ground” for small developing states.
“As leaders of some of the most vulnerable countries in the world, you don’t need to be told that our planet is at grave risk,” he said. “You are on the climate frontlines. You see it every day.”
Ban called for the establishment of global sustainability goals, with the necessary strengthening of critical partnership areas, including the need for capacity building, financing, access to technology, and improved data collection and statistics.
He also emphasized that developing countries will remain top funding priorities for the Green Climate Fund, as well as for campaigns that combat child abuse and violence against women.
“My main message to you is to remain fully engaged and keep working with us to strengthen our partnership during this vital year for humanity,” he said. “Together, we can build a better, more sustainable world, for all.”
Ban is also addressing this week’s CARICOM summit.