Antigua and Barbuda: The Prime Minister of the twin island of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has welcomed the new member of the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (COSIS) on December 2, 2022. The founder and co-chair of COSIS, Browne, has greeted the newest member Vanuatu and anticipated that it would strengthen the effort by small island states to seek solutions against the harmful impact of Climate Change that they are suffering.
Vanuatu, a small island in the South Pacific region with a population of just 300,000 people, acceded for the membership of the council. The small island country’s membership was gladly welcomed by the Prime Minister of Gaston, and while doing the same, he cited, “This new arrival has taken a progressive as well as strong stand in the struggle for protecting the global environment. This step is not only crucial for small states but also for the global community”.
Furthermore, he stated that this meeting in Antigua and Barbuda was scheduled when they (Vanuatu leader and PM Browne) met during COP27 in Egypt. The leaders of both countries have also pledged to meet in Tuvalu, Palau and Niue in advancing a case to the United Nations International Tribunal of the Law of Sea (ITLOS).
“I am glad that Jotham Napat, Foreign Minister of Vanuatu, signed Vanuatu’s Instrument of Accession to COSIS on behalf of the government,” PM Gaston Browne mentioned.
PM Browne also said that “Although the Pacific, Oceania, and Caribbean islands are geographically distinct from one another, we are united in our unwavering commitment to upholding the sovereignty of our nations and safeguarding the civilizations of our people. He also said that a group of 17 experienced international law professionals would “make the approach to ITLOS within days.”
On the same day, PM Browne also informed the United Nations Secretariat in New York of the accession of Vanuatu.