Island nations facing 'triple crisis,' Barbados PM says during meeting with Trudeau

·2 min read

LOS ANGELES — The prime minister of Barbados is pleading the case of smaller island nations that are struggling to deal with a "triple crisis" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mia Mottley says Barbados is dealing with real-world impacts of climate change at the same time as COVID-19 and rising fuel and food prices.

Mottley made the comments prior to a bilateral meeting in Los Angeles with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She says she's looking forward to working on sustainable development goals with Canada, and thanked Trudeau for the role his country has played in the growth of her country.

Mottley says she wants to be sure the world sees island nations during this week's Summit of the Americas and recognizes the trouble they are in.

Trudeau, for his part, acknowledged that the pandemic set the world back significantly in its effort to help developing nations reach their economic and social goals.

"It's a triple crisis that we faced in the last few years," Mottley said during a photo opportunity with Trudeau before the meeting.

She specifically cited the "existential crisis" of climate, COVID-19 and the soaring cost of fuel and food, triggered by the pandemic but now worsened by the war in Ukraine.

Mottley also mentioned the escalating problem of antimicrobial resistance in her part of the world, which renders life-saving medications and treatments ineffective and kills 1.2 million people every year.

"Bob Marley would say, 'So much trouble in the world,'" Mottley said.

"We don't expect things to change immediately. But what we expect is fairness, what we expect is transparency, what we expect is that just as we want to see people here, we want people to see, feel and hear us as well."

Trudeau was scheduled to attend a roundtable later Wednesday with a group of Latin American and Caribbean leaders to discuss climate change, defending democratic values and promoting gender equality.

He also met with Shilpan Amin, the president of General Motors International, about electric vehicles, the hemisphere's climate goals and the effort to energize economic growth.

In Ottawa, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne said it would serve the people of the hemisphere well for countries to do more together to enhance economic integration and export opportunities.

"I think that this is an economic zone where Canada can play a leading role with the Caribbean, with Central America, with South America," Champagne said on his way into a caucus meeting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2022.

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

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