In his well-received speech, Prime Minister Harris distinguished himself as an outspoken and passionate champion of climate action.
Near the outset of his powerful and thought-provoking remarks, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis spoke directly to his peers on the international stage, saying: “We all come ready to speak out and represent, but the fundamental question is whether we have also come TO LISTEN. This global gathering will only be useful if, even as we forcefully articulate our views, we listen with equal intensity to the concerns and proposals of others.”
Prime Minister Harris expressed concern about “the weakening of the multilateral system” while noting that, “It is through multilateralism at the United Nations that smaller states can have their voices heard.”
Underlining the commitment of small nations to meet sustainable development goals, Prime Minister Harris advocated for “a more coherent UN system-wide approach to sustainable development, both in terms of policies and through operational practices in UN processes and country programmes.”
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said, “Developing countries often lack the capacity and capability to capitalize on the latest global trends in public sector innovation, government reform, and technology in addressing developmental challenges. The UN’s role must be to help and stimulate the developing world and to provide support in critical areas such as education, training and human resource development.”
Prime Minister Harris asserted that the countries of the developing world “need and are owed support, solidarity and greater assistance” to confront climate change, which he characterized as “a clear and present danger to small and developing nations.”
Describing climate change as “a product of developed nations’ push for economic growth and industrialization,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis argued that, “For far too long and with far-reaching consequences, rich countries have been allowed to emit greenhouse gases unimpeded. Yet the brunt of climate change is borne by developing nations. Small states such as St. Kitts and Nevis find themselves on the frontline of a war they did not start and do not want. This is unfair and unjust.”