Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Gaston Browne accepted an appointment by the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on March 19, 2022 (Saturday), to serve as one of two co-chairs for the high-level panel of experts on the work of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).
An MVI is a measuring way to show a country’s actual vulnerability economically to external shocks beyond its control; whether it is ‘pandemics’, ‘supply chain issues’, or ‘climate-related natural disasters and for small islands, like Antigua and Barbuda, it is a fair indicator, which shows that who should qualify for concessional relief during the time of economic setback.
Prime Minister Browne also serves as the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
After attaining this critical responsibility, he felt ‘humbled’ and stated, “For the past ten years, small islands have been dealing with adopting as well as implementing the universal MVI across the international financial institutions. I am proud that we are standing at the cusp of achieving it.”
He further added that it is an important primary step, post-pandemic and as a Prime Minister, he will do everything possible to get us over the line.
Furthermore, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdullah Sahid of Maldives, stated that work on the MVI is an important exercise with significant and lasting implications.
He has requested the panel to complete the work before ending his Presidency this year.
Along with PM Browne, the chairing responsibility would be shared by the former Prime Minister of Norway – Erna Solberg.
Solberg has notified that the panel will consist of top experts from across the world, and the finalised outputs would prioritise the needs of SIDS.