Introduction – UK-Caribbean links
Excellencies, Ministers, Girls and gents,
It’s a pleasure to be a part of you right now time, and to convene this crucial assembly.
The links between the UK and the Caribbean could presumably hardly ever be stronger.
With over a million people of Caribbean initiating save in the UK and over 200,000 British nationals in the Caribbean, we’re bigger than chums, we’re family.
From Mary Seacole to John Barnes,
From Baroness Benjamin to endless NHS workers,
People of Caribbean initiating save fabricate an precious contribution to each and every aspect of British existence.
They’ve built their lives and made their properties in the UK,
Making the UK stronger,
And extra a hit as a nation.
This is why we’re performing urgently to position shimmering the errors that resulted in the Windrush scandal.
Of direction there are moreover many examples of British Caribbean people that indulge in performed ample work in the Caribbean itself.
I’m thinking of people appreciate Arthur Wint who served in the RAF,
Won the significant medal for Jamaica at the Olympics,
Trained at St Thomas’s Health center in London,
And took his clinical talents lend a hand to Jamaica. He went on to be posted lend a hand to London as the Jamaican High Commissioner.
Or enterprise people appreciate Ashley Parasram,
Who established the Trinidad and Tobago Comely Cocoa Firm…
And is working to enhance global substitute in Caribbean chocolate.
There are a kind of, many provocative experiences which uncover the energy of this relationship.
We deserve to withhold constructing the links between our international locations.
The incontrovertible truth that now we indulge in got opened four new diplomatic posts in the Caribbean in the final 18 months…
In Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines…
Underlines our commitment to the gap.
There are a kind of areas the save we deserve to enact extra together.
So I’d appreciate to spotlight three right now time.
First, beating Covid-19 – and not utilizing a doubt the most pressing, important dwelling that we face.
The UK is proud to be one of many ideally suited supporters of the COVAX initiative, committing £548 million globally to lend a hand bring vaccines in rising international locations.
This toughen can assist supply over a million doses of obtain and effective vaccines to six Caribbean international locations by the tip of this summer – ample for over 500,000 frontline workers and inclined people.
In complete, COVAX will provide 2.1 million doses to the gap in the significant half of 2021.
Of direction we’re moreover rolling out vaccines to British nationals in the Overseas Territories.
We are definite to withhold taking part in our corpulent characteristic in the worldwide fight against the virus.
The 2d dwelling I select to touch on is the toll that Covid-19 has taken on the economy, and our efforts to produce lend a hand greater.
An complete bunch of thousands of people from the UK indulge in skilled first hand the Caribbean hospitality and tourism substitute.
But Covid has hit the sector arduous.
The IMF estimated that tourism-dependent Caribbean economies would shrink by nearly 10% final 300 and sixty five days.
The UK economy has moreover been arduous hit and now we indulge in got needed to manufacture some anxious decisions, including to temporarily decrease our lend a hand spending.
But let me guarantee you that we can proceed to play a key characteristic in the gap, including by means of our fresh £21 million contribution to the Caribbean Constructing Financial institution’s Particular Constructing Fund.
We moreover proceed to toughen the gap’s pattern by means of work on…
Native weather and catastrophe resilience,
Financial recovery, governance and security,
To boot to by means of our flagship UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund.
This Fund is supporting 14 main infrastructure projects, including local weather resilient investments in roads, ports, water supply and agriculture.
We deserve to work together to position our economies on the course to recovery.
Now that now we indulge in got left the EU, the Financial Partnership Agreement between the UK and the international locations of CARIFORUM has arrive into produce.
This can allow us to substitute brazenly and equally – to the revenue of all.
The Agreement covers substitute in goods and products and services worth £3.1 billion, offering duty free, quota free obtain exact of entry to for CARIFORUM goods,
And opportunities to capitalise on our shared aggressive revenue in the products and services economy.
Our Replace Envoys Darren Henry MP and Baroness Hooper are working to lend a hand companies seize absolute best thing about the new Agreement.
And so they’ll be speaking on all of this later in the discussion board.
The global neighborhood has rightly recognised that Miniature Island Increasing States are a special case for sustainable pattern, and we proceed to position that into motion.
We proceed to suggest internationally on points which shall be of ideally suited danger to SIDS, including on obtain exact of entry to to finance and pattern support.
And now we indulge in got launched our new SIDS Hub to lend a hand form out the uncommon challenges going by means of dinky island states, Including offering technical and capability-constructing toughen to lend a hand address local weather commerce and its impacts in the gap.
Native weather Replace
Native weather commerce is the third dwelling I select to chat about right now time – and this builds without extend on my earlier point.
We indulge in now got to pursue a inexperienced economic recovery if we’re to discontinue catastrophic local weather commerce.
We recognise the pressing chance that local weather commerce poses for the Caribbean.
2020 used to be marked by the most appealing typhoon season ever recorded, with 30 named storms doing untold injury one day of the gap.
As you know only too neatly, the economic expenses of local weather commerce are sobering.
To take dangle of merely one instance, Dominica lost over 200% of its GDP as a results of a single typhoon in 2017.
So now we indulge in got to act, and now we indulge in got to act decisively.
As President and host of this 300 and sixty five days’s UN Native weather Replace Convention, we’re leading efforts to produce a step commerce in ambition.
We shall ensure Caribbean international locations indulge in a solid platform at that assembly,
And in the lead as much as it,
And we shall ensure there is a principal focal point on the points you care most about including adaptation, resilience and scaling-up local weather finance.
All of us indulge in a characteristic to play – but of direction the ideally suited accountability lies with the large emitters.
We need them to act with urgency and at scale to decrease emissions – as the UK is already doing.
We can champion this relentlessly as COP26 President this 300 and sixty five days.
Next Steps & Commonwealth
There’s so critical we are able to enact together – in these areas and many others besides.
We can seize all of this forward in the quarterly conferences between Caribbean Heads of Mission in London and our Minister for the Caribbean,
On the Joint Ministerial Council with the Overseas Territories,
And – for a kind of us – at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Assembly to be held in Rwanda this summer.
CHOGM will most definitely be a key staging post on the freeway to COP26, and in our shared efforts to produce lend a hand greater after the pandemic.
Of direction not everybody at this assembly is in the Commonwealth, but I imagine it has an crucial characteristic in the gap – so let me merely insist a observe on this.
With solid commitment and management, the Commonwealth can fabricate a large incompatibility in turning in on the full areas I’ve talked about right now time – especially on local weather.
I was proud to lead on a Commonwealth statement reaffirming our rejection of racism and discrimination, which used to be unanimously adopted by all 54 member states at the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministerial that I chaired in October.
And it used to be crucial to review Commonwealth leaders coming alongside with a solid statement on tackling Covid-19 final summer.
But we must always quiet raise our ambitions.
I select to review the Commonwealth turning in critical extra as in the Caribbean and beyond.
The UK, for one, is committed to being a power for apt in the gap.
So I explore forward to our discussions right now time – and to hearing the solutions on the growth made at this Forum.
There’s no question that the final 300 and sixty five days has been in actuality anxious for us all.
And it shall be anxious for some time to reach.
But we’re optimistic.
We are combating lend a hand against the virus with vaccines.
We are striking in space the constructing blocks of an even bigger, greener recovery.
And we’re strengthening our cooperation so as that we are able to meet the challenges and settle the opportunities together.