CARICOM Heads of Government Approve Climate-Resilient Development Plan, Agree to Hold Pre-Rio+20 Meeting on SIDS Issues

CARICOM8 March 2012: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government have approved an implementation plan for its Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change, and have agreed to hold a special meeting prior to the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) that will seek to ensure that small island developing State (SIDS) concerns are fully acknowledged in the Rio+20 outcome.

The two decisions were among several reached at the 23rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held from 8-9 March 2012, in Paramaribo, Suriname. On Rio+20, the leaders agreed that the special development challenges faced by SIDS should be fully acknowledged in the Rio+20 outcome. To ensure that they would be, the leaders endorsed holding a special meeting on sustainable development of CARICOM's Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) before Rio+20 to finalize a common regional position on those issues before UNCSD.

In other actions, the Heads of Government nominated George Alleyne as a Caribbean representative on the UN Secretary-General's proposed High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on practical measures to overcome the global development challenges hindering the achievement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other development objectives. They also agreed to explore a Suriname proposal to create a regional commercial enterprise to assist with the funding of CARICOM institutions and considered proposals to reform the CARICOM Secretariat.

When the Heads of Government approved the Regional Framework prepared by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in July 2009, they mandated the CCCCC to prepare an implementation plan to deliver the actions it envisaged. The resulting implementation plan identifies priority activities through 2021 under each of the Regional Framework's five strategic elements and 20 goal areas, covering sectors such as agriculture, water, forestry, coastal and marine resources, energy and health. It also identifies capital and revenue costs for each action, allocates responsibilities and outlines functional cooperation between regional and national agencies, and sets out a monitoring and evaluation process. [Communique, 23rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government] [Publication: Delivering Transformational Change 2011-21: Implementing the CARICOM Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change (Executive Summary)]