Change Financial System for Smaller Countries – UN Secretary General

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

UNITED Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres maintains his belief that the international financial system used to disseminate funding for the advancement of climate change needs to be changed.

He said on Monday that lower and middle-income countries continue to remain at a disadvantage.

Guterres was speaking to the media at a press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s when he made his statements.

He said the international system that the UN operates under was created after World War II.

Guterres said, “We need to adapt International Financial System to the realities of today’s economy. At the same time, we see the need to increase the amount of funding for adaptation. Mitigation is essential. We must reduce emissions but we shall not forget that many nations are already suffering the dramatic impact of climate change and those that suffer most are not those that contribute more to the problem.”

He said there was a decision to put a loss and damage fund in place but it needed to be personalised which was vital this year.

Smaller-income states needed in-depth financial support and there were middle-income countries excluded from concessional funding which also needed to be changed, Guterres said.

He said, “At the same time, we need to have a much stronger action of multilateral development banks. They need to be more capitalised and they need to change their business model in order to be able to leverage much more the private finance that is necessary to make sure that we are able to respond, namely in the developing world to the very dramatic impacts on climate change.”

Guterres added while that could apply to the climate, “it is also true for development in general.”

All the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals could benefit he said.

Countries needed to be able to invest in their education, health and other important systems, the UN Chief said.

In his address, Guterres thanked Dr Rowley for the hospitality he has received, mentioning he has already tried doubles-the most popular local street food and his suitcase was filled with local chocolates.

He also commended Dr Rowley for encouraging collaboration with countries and international organisations saying that Trinidad and Tobago and the UN stands united on tackling global problems.


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