Thursday, 21 June 2018

SVG registers CARICOM's disappointment with "unfulfilled" promises of rich countries

Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines addressing the UN's 4th High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development

UNITED NATIONS, NY, March 23, 2010: - Pointing out the "largely unfulfilled" promises of developed countries in the area of financing for development, CARICOM countries called on the international community to "deliver," and highlighted the special developmental needs and vulnerabilities of small island states.

At the United Nations' Fourth High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines contrasted the unfulfilled commitments of developed countries with his assertion that "developing countries have taken primary responsibility for their own growth and development."

The Vincentian Ambassador, who was speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), indicated that his region has "strengthened good governance practices, combated corruption and have put in place enabling domestic environments to promote private-sector-led growth."

Gonsalves reminded the UN that CARICOM "continues to grapple with the effects of the global economic and financial crisis. Our economies largely remain in recession, as revenue from our main income and foreign exchange generating sectors such as tourism continue to decline."

"The short and medium-term economic forecasts remain bleak as we will continue to feel the lagging effects of the crisis for sometime to come," he said.

The Ambassador referred to the UN's Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, which he co-facilitated, to wide acclaim, in June 2009. "Many of the ameliorative measures that need to be taken in response to this crisis are not new; nor are they in dispute," he said. "The Outcome [of the June Conference], which was adopted by consensus, reflects international agreement on the steps that we must take."

These steps include increased concessionary financing, better market access for Caribbean exports, and greater consideration of the needs of small, vulnerable economies, said Ambassador Gonsalves. He also condemned the "imposition by an Air Passenger Duty by one of our major tourism centers." The manner in which the Duty is being imposed is "unfair, discriminatory and places the region at a competitive disadvantage," said Gonsalves.

Also, "CARICOM remains concerned over the growing tendency of limited membership groups assuming decision-making powers on issues affecting the entire international community, without the consent or involvement of that community," said the Ambassador. "CARICOM does not sit at the table of the G8, the G20 or the OECD, yet the decisions of these exclusive gatherings send shockwaves through our local economies and often have direct negative impacts on the lives and livelihoods of our peoples."

Gonsalves also made special mention of the financing for development needs of Haiti in the wake of its recent catastrophic earthquakes. Stating that much work remains to be done in the reconstruction of Haiti, the Ambassador stressed that "[w]hile Haiti is awash in pledges of support, there is an urgent need for these pledges to materialize as soon as possible."

The Ambassador reiterated the call made at the recent CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Roseau, Dominica for "International Financial Institutions and partner countries to offer assistance in the form of budgetary support to the government of Haiti."

"CARICOM remains convinced that if the benefits of globalization are to be shared by all, the international community must deliver on promises made at Monterrey and elsewhere on trade, development assistance, debt relief and on strengthening the international financial system," said Ambassador Gonsalves.

[Click HERE to view a copy of Ambassador Gonsalves' Statement in .pdf format]