The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) signed an agreement with the United Nations on Wednesday in Bridgetown aimed at further strengthening their ties and deepening their existing partnership.
The agreement outlines cooperation in four critical areas for the region, namely economic diversification, innovative finance, resilience and vulnerability, and data and knowledge management.
“The rationale for partnerships is not that we need to collaborate, the rationale is simply that none of us on our own can overcome the task ahead and if we are committed to making change there is no other choice, but to partner,” CDB president, Dr Hyginus “Gene” Leon said.
The UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq was pleased that the agreement was being signed, formalising a commitment to partner more closely to achieve the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“With only eight years to achieve the SDGs, in the context of multiple layers of crisis, we know that it will be challenging and more will be required of us,” Trebucq said. As development partners, it is clear that we can only make progress by working together.”
According to the CDB, the agreement will translate the broader commitments of both entities and enable the redirection of the development trajectory of the Caribbean in alignment with national and regional priorities.
Regional Director for the UN development coordination office in Latin America and the Caribbean, Roberto Valent, who also spoke at the signing ceremony, confirmed the UN´s commitment to the partnership and highlighted that the agreement enables the agencies to work with even greater focus and efficiency
“Our common agenda makes it very clear that partnerships and the drive of multilateralism is part of the solution,” he said.
The letter of intent will formalise the CDB’s relationship with the UN and focus on key areas for development.
Priority sub-sectors highlighted under the new agreement are: digitisation, the blue economy, as well as regional trade and support for medium, small medium enterprises.
The list also includes innovation and financing, aligning the financial flows to the region with the 2030 agenda, building resilience and addressing vulnerabilities, along with data and knowledge generation.
CDB and the UN are leading institutions supporting the achievement of the SDGs.
The UN and CDB are currently seeking to increase finance to fund the region’s development through novel solutions and new partnerships to close the existing gaps to the SDGs and further accelerate sustainable development.