United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres left New York on 7 October for Saint John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda, to visit areas affected by Hurricane Irma.
Upon arrival, he was greeted by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne. They immediately flew to the island of Barbuda, whose entire population had to be evacuated to Antigua following the hurricane. The Secretary-General walked the streets of Codrington, saying he was witnessing a level of devastation that he had never seen in his life.
Back in Antigua, the Secretary-General visited Barbudans being sheltered by the Government.
He then held a meeting with Prime Minister Browne and other members of the Government. He also held a press conference, during which he stressed that it was crucial for middle-income countries such as Antigua and Barbuda to have access to innovative forms of funding, assistance, concessional loans and new bonds, when faced with external shocks of such magnitude.
The next day, Sunday, 8 October, the Secretary-General left Antigua and Barbuda for Dominica, a country decimated by Hurricane Maria.