Annual Meeting puts spotlight on resilience in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 48th Annual Meeting has ended in Grenada, with Governors of the institution uniting around the event’s theme of resilience. CDB President, Dr. William Warren Smith, in his closing statement on May 31, urged delegates to mainstream resilience; leverage opportunities for blue economy growth; and build “smart partnerships” to meet the Region’s development objectives.

There was a fair degree of commonality in the messages that permeated Governors’ statements during this meeting,” said the President, sharing key discussions and highlights of the Meeting.

“Almost all Governors adverted to the scale of the disasters that visited our shores in 2017, disrupting lives and livelihoods in several member countries. Mainstreaming resilience needs to become a way of doing business for the Caribbean,” he added.

CDB President, Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, delivers his closing statement at the Bank’s 48th Annual Meeting held in Grenada.

The President also urged delegates to tap the potential of the sea for economic growth, pointing to the Bank’s newly released research on the blue economy, which was presented during the Meeting.

To diversify our economies, we must seek out opportunities to sustainably utilise the resources at our disposal.  We must think of ourselves not as Small Island Developing States, but as Big Ocean Developing States.  The sea holds tremendous potential for diversity,” said Smith.

Referencing Governors’ statements during the Annual Meeting, the President pointed to partnerships as critical to resilience-building in the Region.

“Governors also alluded to the fact that smart partnerships must be leveraged in the furtherance of the Bank’s work and development objectives of its borrowing members. We endorse this viewpoint. Indeed, close collaboration with other development partners has been a staple of CDB assistance,” said the President.

Chairman of the Board of Governors and Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, reinforced the President’s comments during his closing remarks.

At the Closing Ceremony, Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, told delegates that the Caribbean can be on its way to being resilient and prosperous.

“Resilience is etched in our DNAs and as such, innately, we as Caribbean people have the basics of what is required to push ahead sustainably. Therefore, with our own resolve and inherent inclination for triumph, coupled with climate-smart sustainable development policies, adequate financing, and effective partnerships, we can be well on our way towards building a truly resilient and prosperous Caribbean,” he said.

Governors representing the Bank’s 28 member countries attended the Annual Meeting, during which they received updates on critical operational developments that could have implications for the Bank’s day-to-day management. They also discussed proposed strategic approaches that could enhance CDB’s effectiveness and responsiveness to its Borrowing Member Countries.