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Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced that he will personally contribute part of his monthly salary to support Antigua and Barbuda’s hosting of the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in May 2024.
He made the announcement during a partnership roundtable involving government ministries, private sector entities, and international financing institutions.
His $5,000 pledge is intended to encourage additional donations for the conference, which is set to gather around 5,000 participants to address sustainable development priorities.
“I am pledging my next salary check which is in the region of $5000.00 and I hope this serves as an impetus for others to follow”, he added
The government has already raised $4 Million of the $7 million needed to stage the conference
“This means there is a funding gap of $3 million dollars,” Browne said
The conference, which concludes the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway, 2014-2024) and launches a new 10-year agenda (2024-2034), is a crucial event for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, as the host, as it aims to coordinate SIDS consultations for the Outcome Document to guide the next decade’s sustainable development.
Browne said it would be an expensive venture but it is a capacity-building project for the country
“After we would have incurred this capital cost, we will have an international conference facility, in which Antigua and Barbuda will be able to host World Bank and IMF conference…” he said
The new SIDS agenda seeks technical support by reviewing SAMOA Pathway achievements, conducting a gap analysis, and incorporating lessons learned from a SIDS perspective.
It also aims to establish frameworks for SDG progress, create sounding boards for development plans, and address issues like the SIDS debt crisis.
To ensure the successful execution of the conference, covering logistics, transportation, catering, security, ICT, and accommodation, Antigua and Barbuda’s government is actively seeking financial contributions from development partners. Hosting such a significant conference requires substantial commitment from all stakeholders.