United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Permanent Mission
of Barbados to
the United Nations
APRIL 21, 2005

Please check against delivery NEW YORK
Mr. President:
Barbados fully supports the statement made by Jamaica on behalf of G77 and
Our collective commitments to the sustainable development process have been
numerous over the past 13 years. With little resistance, we agreed to implement
Agenda 21, the Barbados Programme of Action and the Millennium Declaration,
which, if realized, will ensure that within our own generation, the great disparity in
living conditions between the rich and the poor would be significantly diminished.
Despite these commitments, it should be a matter of regret for us all that the
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has confirmed that the road to sustainable
development is now littered with our failures to implement these programmes,
resulting in abject poverty and degraded environments across the world.
Many changes have been proposed within the Commission on Sustainable
Development (CSD), and we are poised to move forward with those new
changes in this first policy cycle.
In pursuing the goals of sustainable development, we have concentrated on the
thematic cluster of water, sanitation and human settlements for this cycle but can
we afford to move to the next thematic cluster without achieving the targets in
this cluster?
Barbados has already begun the process of implementation, and we are seeing
results in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Permit us
therefore to make a few recommendations.
First, developing countries must take a look inward:
1. Good governance is a sine qua non for achieving sustainable
development. We must ensure accountability in strong, stable governance
structures such that our developed country partners have confidence that
their funding will be properly spent, but more important good governance
is a prerequisite for the efficient and effective use of our own resources.
The Caribbean Single Market and Economy is therefore an important
mechanism for our regional governance and economic management.
2. Some developing countries hold good records with respect to the subject
areas. They should assist others with technical exchanges, training,
dissemination of information and the sharing of best practices.
3. We need to empower local authorities, national populations, Non-
Governmental Organizations and Community-based Organizations to help
national Governments in our programmes, especially in the elimination of
unsustainable practices.
4. National strategic action plans must be developed in each of the three
sectors in the thematic cluster.
Second, to our developed country partners:
1 Issues related to water, sanitation and human settlements are too large for
developing countries to tackle alone. We need partners to fulfill previous
commitments of Official Development Assistance in order to better enable
developing countries to achieve Goals 1 and 7 of the Millennium
Development Goals.
2. Appropriate technology transfer in the form of low-cost water-efficient
systems and wastewater treatment facilities would be welcomed, together
with assistance in capacity building to properly maintain such systems
once installed.
3. The collection and use of current data is critical to decision-making,
ensuring good potable water quality and evaluating progress towards
achieving established targets and goals. Small Island Developing States,
in particular, require assistance in the design and implementation of
information systems for sustainable development.
4. Developed countries can choose action or inaction. You can choose not to
give support. Remember however, that we all live on the same globe and
the social and environmental problems of the developing world will
eventually impact on your environment, economy and society. Further
marginalization of developing countries will also result in swathes of
immigrants seeking to escape their own countries and coming to live in
Finally, may I make some recommendations in relation to the United Nations
Institutional arrangements:
1. It is vital that the role of the United Nations agencies responsible for water
issues be enhanced and that these agencies report back to CSD.
2. United Nations Habitat must increase global monitoring for the
achievement of the human settlements targets and tangibly support
developing countries in the upgrading of slums,
Barbados believes that a commitment to action, instead of commitment to talk
about action, and the cooperation of all countries and stakeholders within the
United Nations framework is not beyond us. Would it not be a tribute to us all if
next year delegates can speak more to the achievement of our goals and targets
rather than our failures?

I thank you.