Port of Spain, December 16, 2019 – Parliamentarians from eight Caribbean countries affirmed the critical role that needs to be played by Parliaments in championing sustainable development and holding governments to account for national strategies and policies aimed at combating climate change and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Port of Spain Declaration was issued by members of the Parliaments of Barbados, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, who gathered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 5 and 6 December 2019 for the Second Regional Seminar for Parliaments of the Caribbean entitled Strengthening parliamentary action on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The seminar was also attended by representatives of civil society from Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), which is an independent non-profit institute operating across the Caribbean.
Ms Nicole Leotaud, CANARI’s Executive Director, presented on the critical role being played by civil society organisations (CSOs) to address climate change, especially meeting the needs of the most vulnerable including coastal communities and people depending on natural resources for their livelihoods.
However, Ms Leotaud emphasised that, “Civil society needs more support, including financing, to scale up the important work that they are doing to address climate change and deliver the SDGs.” The role of Parliaments in ensuring appropriate budgetary allocations to address climate change and the SDGs was highlighted in the meeting.