Rio de Janeiro: Three regional organisations have inked two historic agreements to co-operate on dealing with the effects of climate change and to promote sustainable development at a Commonwealth event held at the Rio+20 Earth Conference here.
The agreements were signed yesterday by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The signing of the agreements took place following a panel discussion titled 'Across the Regions: Small Island Developing States Solutions for Sustainable Development', organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the three regional bodies.
The event focused on strengthening collaboration among the three regions in promoting sustainable development.
Ransford Smith, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, congratulated the three organisations for leading the way in demonstrating that through partnerships, experiences can be shared, good practices distilled and solutions found.
"At the end of the day, we want to see more small states drawing down more international financing more rapidly to support low-carbon, climate resilient development," he said.
"The Commonwealth Secretariat has proactively promoted collaboration among the three organisations and is pleased that this has now resulted in the historic signing of two memoranda of understanding. We will continue to work with the organisations in developing concrete action plans as the next step in adding value to their efforts," Smith added.
Current and prospective initiatives reflecting the priorities of small island developing states in sustainable development and climate change were discussed during the event.
These included issues such as oceans management, financing mechanisms, skills development and training, and youth engagement.
"By signing these MoUs, we are demonstrating to the whole world that our regions can come together as one body to address issues affecting us, and how we can help each other through South-South co-operation," said Kenrick Leslie, the Executive Director of 5Cs.