Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne has reported that the High-Level Panel on the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index has taken a major step towards completing its mandate in devising a tool intended to help Small Island Developing States better prepare and respond to the variety of external shocks that limit the sustainable development of their economies.
The panel last Thursday 25th May completed two days of intense and productive deliberations on the MVI after a thorough review of the advice and opinions of its technical sub-group which was charged with consulting with a wide cross section of stakeholders around the globe as part of its remit to ensure the MVI is fit for purpose.
“The panel bears the responsibility of producing a comprehensive and coherent MVI, which, needless to say, must adhere to rigorous technical standards,” noted Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne, who was appointed as co-chair of the Panel together with the former Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.
“We are mandated to provide our recommendations on the MVI by the end of June, necessitating our continued momentum in advancing our work,” Prime Minister Browne explained as the co-chairs mapped out the road ahead before presentation of the comprehensive MVI report to the UN General Assembly.
An imperative of the exercise will be a final round of consultations with member states to ensure the MVI is reflective of the individual and collective views of those countries, who by virtue of their vulnerabilities are ineligible for the type of concessional financing they need to recover from various external shocks to their economies.
The traditional and outdated methods for qualification for concessional financing do not fully take into account the issues of burdensome debt and climate change but the MVI seeks to reverse that by introducing a tool that is truly inclusive and reflective of all the vulnerabilities of small island developing states.
“The purpose of course is to ensure those who are doing development banking and development financing understand we have to move beyond the world of GNI per capita as the indicator of who exactly are vulnerable in our societies,” former Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg stressed.
Prior to the two days of intense deliberations, the HLP conducted a series of consultations with UN member states, international financial institutions, regional development banks and think tanks in order to gather views and proposals on the MVI framework.
Joining Prime Minister Browne at the meeting at the UN Headquarters were Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Walton Webson and Deputy Permanent Representative Tumasie Blair.