President Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles Elected as the New President of SIDS DOCK
President Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles has recently been elected as the new president of SIDS DOCK, a global initiative established in 2015 to foster renewable energy and sustainable development for small island developing states. The organization acts as a docking station to connect the energy sectors of these states with global markets for carbon, sustainable energy technologies, and finance. This comes at a critical time as reports indicate that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals may not be achieved by 2030. Furthermore, the Global Stocktake Report on the commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement indicates a concerning performance of global climate efforts.
President Ramkalawan emphasized that small island developing states are currently in survival mode, battling to exist despite their vulnerabilities. His vision for his tenure is to build a plan for future generations to survive and thrive. This plan centers on the youth in these regions, aiming to help them prosper despite the adverse impacts of climate change. The plan promotes socioeconomic opportunities in key areas to attract young people, enhance their skills, and secure a resilient future by raising awareness and education on innovative finance and investment.
Emphasizing the Role of the Blue Economy
The new president of SIDS DOCK stressed the essential role of the Blue Economy in sustainable development policies. The Blue Economy refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. By way of example, he mentioned Seychelles’ world-first Debt Swap for Ocean Conservation and Climate Adaptation and the first sovereign Blue Bonds, launched in October 2018.
The assembly also elected John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize, and Siaosi Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, Prime Minister of Tonga, as vice presidents representing the Caribbean Region and the Pacific Region respectively. This marks the second time a President of Seychelles has assumed the Presidency of SIDS DOCK, with the first being Danny Faure in 2017.
As President Ramkalawan takes the helm of SIDS DOCK, he brings with him a vision focused on the youth of small island developing states. Recognizing the critical situation these nations find themselves in, his leadership will be guided by the urgency to build a plan for future generations to survive and thrive. This forward-thinking approach underscores the need for sustainable development policies and strategies that not only address the present crisis but also look towards a sustainable and resilient future for small island developing states.
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