On 22 July 2015, The Right Honorable Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and current Chair of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), paid a visit to UNESCO during which he had the opportunity to state his country’s staunch support to the process leading to the forthcoming Conference of State Parties on Climate Change (COP 21) hosted by the Government of France.
“As Grenadian and Caribbean citizen, I am deeply concerned over the impact of climate change”, stated Prime Minister Mitchell on behalf of OECS and the Small Islands Developing States, during the bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, in the presence of the Deputy Director-General, Mr. Engida Getachew, and Ms Chafica Haddad, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Grenada to UNESCO.
The Director-General recalled that Small Island Developing States constitute a “real and strong priority” for the Organization underscoring that “UNESCO stands as a true spokesperson for climate change, oceans, coastal hazards and marine biodiversity issues, among others, on the international scene”. Irina Bokova went on informing the Prime Minister about the high level international conferences hosted by UNESCO in preparation of the Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in December this year. She laid particular emphasis on the scientific conference and the conference of the private sector on social responsibility vis-à-vis climate change, as well as the recent UNESCO World Ocean’s Day on 8 June last.
In response to Prime Minister Mitchell’s call for support in mapping Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Grenada, the Director-General replied positively indicating that UNESCO will assist Grenada in preparing a policy that takes the regional approach into account. “UNESCO is advocating for STI to have its proper place in the Post 2015 Agenda” pursued Irina Bokova.
Advocating for enhancing the teaching of sciences in the region in order to increase people’s outreach opportunities and sustain youth employment, the Prime Minister pleaded “I am a champion of science in the region”.
The Director-General and the Prime Minister went thereon discussing the importance of cultural heritage preservation and improving the representation of Grenada on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In concluding, the Director-General presented Prime Minister Keith Mitchell with the UNESCO 70th anniversary commemorative medal as a gesture of appreciation for his visit and support to the Organization.