Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President, Caribbean Development Bank
This year’s Annual Meeting will embrace the theme “Resilience”. The theme is anchored in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the commitment by the Caribbean Development Bank’s borrowing member countries (BMCs) along with other United Nations’ member countries to pursue 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
The goal to end poverty must go hand-in-hand with the pursuit of strategies that build resilience to climate change and other external vulnerabilities. Our BMCs operate in a zone that is ranked as the second highest in the world in terms of climate vulnerability and is characterised by more intense and destructive meteorological systems. Most recently, two back-to-back hurricanes in 2017 caused damage estimated at 225% of gross domestic product (GDP) in Dominica; and more than 300% of GDP in the British Virgin Islands as well as significant infrastructure damage and loss of life in other affected BMCs.
The 2018 Annual Meeting Programme, therefore, seeks to explore the multi-dimensional perspectives of “resilience” in the context of the 2030 Development Agenda; and appropriate strategies for “resilience building” and transformational change to solve the Caribbean’s major development challenges.
We wish to express our gratitude to the Government and people of Grenada for hosting this year’s Annual Meeting and we look forward to seeing you in Grenada.
Wm. Warren Smith