A call has been issued by Dominica’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Kenneth Darroux for International Development partners to be more responsive in assisting Small Island Developing States.

The call came during his address to the 76th session of the United Nations on Monday.

The Minister stated that for small developing states like Dominica, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the socio-economic development gains made in the country.

He further stated that the pandemic has placed additional burdens on national budgets.

“The closure of businesses, and the additional cost of operating businesses during covid-19 restrictions have had an extremely debilitating impact on the private sector.” The minister enclosed.

“Tourism industries have received a devastating blow, as the impact has been most severe in the hotel, hospitality, and service sectors.”

He added, we must therefore work collectively to end this deadly pandemic.

Dr. Darroux said, living with the pandemic and preparing for future pandemics must now become essential components of sustainable development.

“Developing countries like Dominica are at risk of not being able to meet our Sustainable Development Goals if this pandemic continues to severely impact our people and countries.”

He added, Dominica is of the view that, this new dispensation must also reward countries for progressive policies directed at creating sustainable systems for production and consumption.

Dr. Darroux also made a call for the removal of the US Trade embargo on Cuba, saying, the plight of our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Haiti continues to be of concern to Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean Community.

The Foreign minister said that, over the last decade, Haiti has struggled with rising poverty levels, sustained political instability and numerous disasters, resulting in extreme hardship the citizens of this sister Caribbean nation.

He added, Haiti is currently in the top 10 countries experiencing a food crisis.

The United Nations must therefore take leadership in coordinating targeted support to the Haitian Government for the benefit of its people.

He also added a fresh call for the discontinuation of the economic, financial and trade embargo on our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Cuba.

“Notwithstanding this decades-old embargo, the Republic of Cuba continues to make a positive impact on our region, and the wider world.”

He said the United States should allow the people of Cuba to be fully integrated into the global trading system, to improve their lives and to allow the world to continue to benefit from their tremendous contributions especially in science and technology.