The Forum is chaired by Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, who is also the chairman of the 15-0member regional integration grouping.
The communique issued Friday night following the 38th annual meeting of CARICOM leaders noted that the regional leaders observed that with Mitchell’s appointment of chairman of the Forum “this presented a further opportunity for the Community to address the issues relating to greater access to public and private sector financing, including through proposals for innovative modalities, instruments and technologies”.
The communique noted that the leaders had endorsed the call by Mitchell for special attention to the blue economy, renewable energy and technology within the context of the CARICOM platform during the Small States Forum.
“In this regard, Heads of Government requested the preparation of a comprehensive strategic paper on issues pertinent to Small States Development Financing including a prospectus of transformative projects that could access available resources under various initiatives such as the Green Climate Fund,” the communique noted.
It said that the leaders had also agreed that Information and Communication Technology and Statistics were areas which would be among the priorities for funding as they were critical in the thrust to growth and development.
During the summit here, Jorge Familiar, Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank, told the leaders that ‘there has never been a better time than now for the coastal and island nations to invest in the transition to a blue economy”.
He said the World Bank Group (WBG) is now examining new initiatives to leverage new sources of financing in support of growth.
“In recent years, small states have taken a collective stand in international fora to highlight the development challenges they face and urge more attention to their concerns,” he said, noting that in recent years, the World Bank Small States initiative, now chaired by Grenada, has developed a roadmap for World Bank Group Engagement with Small States which identifies priorities for engagement including predictability of affordable financing; access to new and existing climate financing; and capacity building among others.”
Familiar said that the WBG is working with different partners in the region and across the globe to find ways to make these priorities become concrete actions.
“For example, together with the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States Commission, we have secured over six million US dollars in additional Global Environmental Facility grants to support the implementation of regional activities of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Oceans Policy (ECROP).
A comprehensive marine spatial plan is expected to be prepared and adopted under this programme, he said, adding “the Caribbean states also require special financing to help them address common vulnerabilities.
“This means combining both public and private financing,” he added.
- Countries: CARICOM