Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie signed the first ever Country Implementation Plan (CIP) for the Virgin Islands (VI) at a virtual signing ceremony held on August 17.
Premier Fahie and United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for the Eastern Caribbean, Mr. Didier Trebucq signed the plan which will serve as the official framework for development cooperation between the VI and the UN system on an annual basis.
This framework translates into specific plans for development cooperation at the country level and is the UN’s offer to better serve Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as they strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The priority areas for cooperation in the VI include:
- Supporting COVID-19 response and recovery to ensure no one is left behind in the near- to medium-term.
- Strengthening economic resilience with a focus on repositioning Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) for opportunities in the blue economy.
- Strengthening integrated planning for long-term sustainable development to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
- Improving access to sustainable development financing for: (a) building climate resilience and conservation of marine and terrestrial biodiversity (b) social development.
- Strengthening policy coordination and implementation to support the effective delivery of public services.
Premier Fahie highlighted the importance of the UN system’s support to the VI as the society confronts multiple challenges and said the signing was a pivotal moment in the VI’s relationship with the UN as the height of the hurricane season approaches.
The Premier said, “At our most vulnerable point in the season, we are managing COVID-19 and at the same time developing a framework for the long-term sustainable development of our islands. I feel more reassured knowing that we have the support of the UN system during these very uncertain and challenging times.”
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Didier Trebucq reaffirmed the UN system’s commitment to supporting the VI on key priorities. He said the day was another example of how the UN is joining hands with the VI through a multi-dimensional approach to sustainable development. “As the UN system, we value this cooperation immensely. We are working together to provide the Virgin Islands with a tailored set of development solutions to meet their various specific needs and priorities,” he explained. The process of implementing the CIP has commenced as agencies such as UNICEF, WFP, PAHO, ECLAC, ILO and UNDP are working closely with the government to implement specific initiatives to support VI.
The Government of the Virgin Islands and UN Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Resident Coordinator Office will continue to strengthen their cooperation to assist the Territory in achieving the SDGs.
The VI is one of the ten countries and territories covered by the UN Resident Coordinator Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Top row (L-R) RC Mr. Didier Trebucq, Premier Hon. Andrew A. Fahie, Special Envoy Mr. Benito Wheatley
Bottom row: (L-R) Permanent Secretary Dr. Carolyn O’Neal-Morton, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office Senior Development Coordination Office Mr. Kenroy Roach and Development Cooperation Officer/Senior Economist Mr. Stuart Davies.