St. Kitts and Nevis has described as “unimaginable” the “carnage in a wide swath of the Caribbean” caused by recent hurricanes.
“Lives have been lost; homes and infrastructure destroyed; economies reduced to tatters; years of development wiped out. In the case of Barbuda, an entire island has been evacuated and rendered uninhabited and uninhabitable for the first time in 300 years,” said St. Kitts and Nevis’ Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Anthony Brantley in addressing the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the weekend.
“It is worthy of note that the carnage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria took but a few days,” he added. “In just a few days and in many countries a mere few hours, the world had front row seats to the most horrific destruction ever seen in our beloved Caribbean region.
“We have, in this very Chamber, heard the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda speak solemnly to the utter destruction of Barbuda. We have only today, stood in anguished silence, as the Prime Minister of Dominica recounted the near total destruction of his beautiful country and the tragic loss of life,” Brantley continued. “Their first-hand accounts would move even the coldest hearts to tears.”
Brantley said the time has now come for the world to treat these phenomena not as natural disasters but man-made disasters, stating that the science is irrefutable.
“Our oceans continue to get warmer due to our continued abuse of our Planet Earth,” he said. “Warmer oceans feed and create horrific storms, such as Irma and Maria. Now, more than ever, we bear witness to the compelling need to support the call for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and all other actions and behaviors that aggravate the effects of climate change.”
Brantley said climate change for the Caribbean is not a matter for academic rumination, stating the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Caribbean, in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, is “stark testimony that climate change is not only real, but poses an existential threat to our people, our countries and our civilization.”
Global community urged to assist
“We cannot continue to abuse our Planet and expect to remain unscathed,” he said. “The people of St Kitts and Nevis call upon the global community to pledge itself to pursuing renewable energy with greater alacrity. We must invest in better and stronger homes and buildings. We must grow our economies to allow us greater financial resilience and flexibility.
“The people of St Kitts and Nevis and of our Caribbean deserve and demand the same fundamental right to life, and security of our way of life as others anywhere else,” he declared. “I ask the global community to lend their collective voices so that together we can create a glorious symphony for change. That change which ensures a sustainable planet for all.”
Brantley called on the community of nations to mobilize the necessary resources to ensure the speedy reconstruction of those countries devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Find out what Trinidad and Tobago is doing to assist Dominicans: https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/caribbean-breaking-news-featured/tt-waive-immigration-requirements-dominicans/