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Caribbean Nations Call on UN for Environmental, Trade Support

Caribbean island nations are calling on the United Nations to help combat global warming and boost trade in their countries, which they say are particularly vulnerable to climate and economic changes.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, a group of Caribbean foreign ministers said World Trade Organization rules aimed at leveling the playing field for industrialized nations are hampering their small, vulnerable economies. They called for an equitable global trade regime.

The diplomats also said the international community must work harder to protect them from the hazards of a changing environment.

The Foreign Minister of Saint Lucia, Petrus Compton, said greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached dangerous levels and that rising sea levels are endangering people in the tropics. He noted some nations are losing land mass as they face an unprecedented and accelerated thawing of the polar ice caps.

Grenada, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas and Dominica were among the participating nations.