Thursday, 26 May 2016
February 9, 2009, UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK): – In brief remarks to the Economic Comission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Permanent Representative Camillo Gonsalves called for a greater attention to the specific needs of the Caribbean, and urged deeper regional cooperation in the face of the global economic crisis.
Speaking in response to a presentation by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, on the "Outlook and prospects for Latin America and the Caribbean in light of the crisis of 2008-2009," Ambassador Gonsalves pointed out that the Caribbean region differed from the majority of Latin America in at least two ways that were not sufficiently stressed in the presentation. First, Ambassador Gonsalves indicated that many Caribbean countries were net commodity importers, as opposed to the export orientation of much of South America. Second, he noted that the Caribbean States – unlike the larger countries of South America – were unable "to enact economic stimuli of the size and scope appropriate to offset the global slowdown."
"We must also recognise that the measures being discussed and enacted today are in the context of merely stabilizing a broken system, rather than its significant reform or reinvention," said Ambassador Gonsalves. "Such an approach will merely forestall another race to the regulatory bottom, and future economic crises. In that regard, it is fundamental that comprehensive reform of the financial system must be a demand that we make now, and not in the ensuing post-stimulus recovery."
Ambassador Gonsalves echoed a proposal by the President of the World Bank for developed countries' stimulus packages to include a 0.7% "vulnerability fund" for development assistance. The Vincentian envoy also congratlated Venezuela for its "creativity in suggesting regional alternatives to the challenges that face us, as well as recognising the peculiar needs and vulnerabilities of the Caribbean sub-region."
To View the text of Ambassador Gonsalves' Brief Remarks to ECLAC, click HERE