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UN: Climate change and debt drown small island states

Saint John, May 28 (Prensa Latina) Small island states are drowning due to debt and rising sea levels due to climate change that is not their fault, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said today.

In his second intervention at the IV International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) taking place in Antigua and Barbuda, the head of the United Nations Organization stated that the 39 nations that make up that group were especially vulnerable to the Covid-19, the conflict in Ukraine and climate change.

He specified that international financing is the fuel for sustainable development, but these small island countries are paying more to serve their own debt than they invest in health and education.

The senior UN leader said financial constraints leave these nations unable to make the investments they need to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Many of them, he said, are classified as middle-income, which excludes them from the debt support reserved for poorer nations.

In this sense, the Commissioner for International Partnerships of the European Commission, Jutta Urpilainen, welcomed the vulnerability index proposed by the UN, stating that she awaits its approval so that all development institutions can use it.

She stated that, within the framework of the Global Gateway Strategy, the States and institutions of the European Union intend to mobilize 300 billion euros in public and private investments by 2027 in all vulnerable countries, with many initiatives already underway in small island states.

She meant they also have a commitment of €400 million to the Loss and Damage Fund agreed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP28.