The Associate Members of the United Nations (UN) regional commissions in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pacific have indicated their readiness for the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda from 27th–30th May 2024.

The representatives of Aruba, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cook Islands and Guadeloupe at the conclusion of the recent UN SIDS Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting in Cape Verde from 31st August to 2nd September, thanked Ambassador H.E. Dr. Walton Webson for Antigua and Barbuda’s leadership in hosting the 2024 international SIDS meeting and helping to shape a new SIDS programme of action for another decade.

Ambassador Webson congratulated the Associate Members on their robust participation at the SIDS inter-regional preparatory meeting and the prior regional SIDS preparatory meetings in the Caribbean and Pacific. 

He encouraged the 13 Associate Members of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the 7 Associate Members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to attend next year’s SIDS meeting in Antigua and Barbuda as they are also SIDS who need international support.

Notably, Ambassador Webson commended the BVI for their pivotal role in rallying SIDS support for the Associate Members and successfully guiding their inclusion in the official Outcome Document of the UN SIDS Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting. The Outcome Document states:

“We acknowledge the need of the Associate Members of the Regional Commissions for international support to achieve our SIDS sustainable development agenda, and to build resilience against external shocks. We therefore call for international measures and support to be extended to them.”

Special Envoy of the British Virgin Islands Mr. Benito Wheatley thanked Ambassador Webson for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s unwavering support in ensuring the Associate Members needs as SIDS are also met going forward.

The Associate Members of ECLAC include Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, BVI, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, Sint Maarten, St. Martin and Turks and Caicos Islands; while the Associate Members of ESCAP include American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia, Niue and the Northern Mariana Islands.