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Barbados and UNIDO signal new quality of partnership, announce establishment of a UNIDO-Barbados Global SIDS Hub

23 May 2024

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Bridgetown, 21 May 2024 - UNIDO Director General Müller and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottely agreed to establish a UNIDO-Barbados Global SIDS Hub for Sustainable Development ahead of the 4th International Conference on SIDS. The new UNIDO SIDS Hub will enhance UNIDO’s work in small island developing states. It will deliver technical assistance to increase SIDS' resilience, support economic diversification and promote investment in SIDS, particularly in the blue economy, digital and green solutions, and in leapfrogging to innovative technologies. The UNIDO SIDS Hub will be based in the UN House in Bridgetown, Barbados, but will serve SIDS worldwide, with a strong international focus on promoting SIDS-SIDS cooperation.

Speaking on the occasion of the signing of the Barbados-UNIDO Joint Declaration agreeing on the establishment a SIDS Hub, Director General Müller said: “I thank Prime Minister Mottley for the excellent cooperation in the past, and today we start a new quality of cooperation by jointly establishing a UNIDO-Barbados Global SIDS Hub. It is an honour to accept the invitation of Barbados to establish this important UNIDO-Barbados centre for SIDS, which will allow us to expand our support for both Barbados and all the Small Island Developing States worldwide. We offer technology, knowledge and research transfer and concrete support in several sectors such as the blue economy, renewable energies, and agribusiness.”

Prime Minister Mottley thanked the Director General for the kind consideration of establishing a SIDS Hub for UNIDO in Barbados and stressed that it is an important development, stating: “We believe that the capacity to diversify our economies is absolutely critical. We are committed, in a world that requires us to become far more resilient than we have been, to being able to establish an ecosystem where industrial production can start again.” She emphasized that “the partnership with UNIDO will allow for access to the technology, the knowledge and the partnerships which are necessary to build up new industries within the domestic markets.”

The Joint Declaration signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kerrie Symmonds and Director General Müller and witnessed by Prime Minister Mottley builds on the successes of a previous Joint Declaration between Barbados and UNIDO, signed in 2014 at the SIDS3 Conference in Samoa. The resultant cooperation saw the establishment of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in Bridgetown, part of UNIDO's Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) and the BLOOM Cleantech Cluster. The newly signed Joint Declaration provides for the establishment of the Global SIDS Hub as the centre of UNIDO activities for all SIDS Member States, with the support of the Government of Barbados and to become self-funded in the near future. Moreover,  Barbados and UNIDO will further strengthen cooperation and partner on expanding existing initiatives, providing technical assistance in sectors such as industry 4.0, pharmaceuticals or agri-business, raising funding to replicate the successful BLOOM Cleantech Cluster model in other SIDS and lower-income countries, expanding the CCREEE network for more SIDS-SIDS cooperation on energy issues, and beyond that partnering in many other sectors, such as on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)-funded Blue Green Bank to be based in Barbados.

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Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kerrie Symmonds, UNIDO Director of Special Operations Stein Hansen, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment Senator Chad Blackman, Director General Gerd Müller, Director General of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Donna Forde (from left to right)
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UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, Director General of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Donna Forde (from left to right)