The Premier made the calls via remarks delivered during the December 13, 2021, signing ceremony of the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (MSDCF) for the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean, covering the period 2022-2026.
Calling it a great day for the Virgin Islands, Eastern Caribbean and the wider Caribbean region, the Premier said the region is at a critical stage where the global pandemic has increased our vulnerability as a grouping of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and low-lying coastal countries.
“The now fast-spreading Omicron variant also reminds us that we are not out the woods yet. Many countries and territories continue to experience the negative economic, social, and health impacts of the virus. Controlling COVID and achieving a balanced recovery will take longer than anyone imagined.”
“Without a doubt, we need the support of the UN now more than ever. Your assistance is critical if we are to still achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Despite the scale of the challenge, I remain confident and optimistic that the SDGs are still within reach, but it will require tireless effort, multisectoral partnerships, and creative approaches to resource mobilization,” Hon Fahie said.
The Premier highlighted that within the MSDCF, the Virgin Islands will be seeking UN support to implement the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP), which is now in advanced draft form after months of public consultation and technical assistance from ECLAC.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to you Didier [Mr. Didier Trebucq, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados] for living up to the UN mantra of ‘leaving no one behind’. You have made every effort to ensure that the British Virgin Islands is included in UN assistance to the Eastern Caribbean to support COVID response.”
Hon Fahie expressed gratitude for the inclusion of the territory in the various UN joint programmes to accelerate SDGs implementation given the Virgin Islands would often have difficulties qualifying for development assistance he said.
“Looking ahead to 2022, my Administration looks forward to continuing to work closely with UN colleagues on UN assistance to the British Virgin Islands within the framework of our Country Implementation Plan,” he said.
He said the plan will support the territory’s transition from recovery to sustainable development and unveiled plans to open a satellite Resident Coordinator Office in the VI during the first half of 2022.