PARAMARIBO, Suriname – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is scheduled to arrive here on July 1 to participate in the 43rd regular meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government.
This was confirmed by his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, who also said that Guterres will attend the opening ceremony on July 3, followed by discussions with the CARICOM leaders.
The summit will be held from July 3 to 6.
Speaking during the UN’s daily press briefing on Friday, Dujarric noted that the Caribbean is among the world’s hardest hit by worsening climate impacts, despite having contributed among the least to the problem, due to very low emissions.
In March, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) designated the Caribbean region as highly climate-vulnerable, meaning its people are 15 times more likely to die of climate impacts.
During the Conference, the Secretary-General will discuss his recent announcement that the UN will work to ensure that all people on Earth are covered by early warning systems within five years.
In the face of severe climate challenges, and with very scarce resources, the Caribbean region is taking vital steps to build climate resilience, which the Secretary-General will observe first-hand during his stay in Suriname.
While here, Guterres will visit an indigenous community in the rainforest, to learn more about harnessing indigenous knowledge to help adapt to climate impacts.
The UN chief will also underscore the importance of nature-based climate solutions during a visit to a coastal mangrove site, where he will witness the vulnerability of Suriname’s coastal area to flooding, which has increased due to sea level rise and extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis.
In recent years, under the leadership of hydrologist Professor Siewnath Naipal, Suriname has started to implement a mangrove replanting program along the coast. Mangrove vegetation has been restored in several places along the coast through this initiative, which is also partly financed by international donations. With its low coastline, Suriname is in the top 10 of most vulnerable countries in terms of sea level rise. (CMC)