With the upcoming COP27 on the horizon, much of the discussions focused on areas such as Climate Change and Resilience and access to climate finance. In relation to climate financing, there was general consensus of the need for financing mechanisms that work across the board for the countries most impacted by climate change. The issues of vulnerability and adaptation of small island developing states were also discussed, which the OECS contingent providing insight into the Commission’s focus on community based adaptation.
With the OECS Members States, as well as the United Kingdom in advanced preparations for attendance at COP27, the meeting came at an opportune time for both parties to have preliminary discussions on some of the issues of focus at the much anticipated Summit. The OECS Director General also used the opportunity to futher strengthen the Organisation’s relationship with the United Kingdom, as he offered a snapshot into the strategic priorities of the OECS, highlighting many areas of mutual interest. According to Dr. Jules,
‘We at the OECS Commission deeply appreciated the high level visit from the British Delegation because it provided us with the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern, importantly to explore areas for improving relations. It also allowed us to share with them our strategic priorities that have been approved by the OECS Authority for the next six years. These priorities are critically important and we need to ensure that the work done with our development partners converges and fits within those priorities.’
Director General for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Corin Robertson expressed gratitude at the opportunity to meet with the OECS Team, and pledged continued dialogue and partnership with the Organisation. She noted,
‘Meeting the OECS Commission was an important part of my visit to St Lucia. We had a great conversation about priorities, challenges and opportunities for SIDS post-pandemic. We’ll keep working together to tackle the climate crisis. Thank you to Dr Jules and the team.’