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Antigua and Barbuda is gearing up to host one of the most significant conferences of island nations from all over the world this year.
The event is expected to be a crucial gathering for them to regroup and ponder on the future after a disappointing COP28 that fell short of delivering much-needed outcomes for safeguarding their uncertain future.
Antigua and Barbuda played an integral role in various side events during the international conference in Dubai. These events focused on advancing discussions on major goals and significant developments that island nations hope to accomplish during the country’s hosting of SIDS4 from May 27 – 30 this year.
A Centre of Excellence is anticipated to emerge from the SIDS4 Conference, which could be a game-changer in addressing some of the gaps that island nations have been trying to overcome in building climate resilience, overcoming burdensome debt, and achieving their sustainable development goals.
The Centre of Excellence will serve as a predetermined point on the compass that SIDS could use in setting course for a new and brighter future.
The Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, the Hon. Gaston Browne, is determined to see this happen.
During COP28, Prime Minister Browne led the country’s high-level delegation and made use of every available opportunity to emphasize the goals and priorities of the Centre of Excellence in addressing the main areas of concern that island nations face in overcoming their peculiar challenges.
One of the defining initiatives of the Centre of Excellence will be a Data Hub, an empowering feature for small and micro-states that will usher in a new era in accessing the resources they need from a global financial architecture that impedes more than supports recovery and development.
At the COP28 Launch of the SIDS Global Data Hub, Prime Minister Browne stated that the SIDS Global Data Hub is a tool of empowerment, equipping policymakers, scientists, and communities with the insights needed to chart a course towards climate resilience, the SDGS, and the fulfilment of the next 10-year framework that will be adopted in Antigua and Barbuda at SIDS4.
He also mentioned that the excuse of the international community being unable to assist SIDS due to a lack of data should no longer hold water.