Thursday, 12 December 2013
Click HERE to read the Statement
NEW YORK, NY, October 29, 2008: Speaking today on behalf of CARICOM, Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves delivered a statement to the United Nations Economic and Financial Committee on the subject of "Globalisation and Interdependence."
Ambassador Gonsalves noted that globalisation had rendered moot the sixteenth century meditation that "no man is an island." For CARICOM, it was now a truism that no island was an island. The tides of globalisation had washed CARICOM's shores with its benefits, burdens and unintended systemic consequences. The efficacy of globalisation and its continued credibility to CARICOM and other developing countries depended not on broad statistics suggesting global economic growth, but rather on tangible improvements in the quality of life and choices available to their citizens. Development must be placed at the centre of globalisation, rather than being its by-product.
The Caribbean was on the front line of the fallout from climate change, to which the Caribbean had contributed only negligibly. Emphasising that the Caribbean did not produce small arms and drugs like cocaine, Ambassador Gosalves said the global trade in them was tearing holes in the fabric of Caribbean societies. The crises in food and energy prices had caused severe hardship and social unrest in the region. Trade-distorting subsidies and barriers continued to be applied in a manner that rendered the Caribbean's nascent industries uncompetitive. The rule-based systems undergirding globalisation had made insufficient allowances for the economies of small island developing States, uprooting their traditional agricultural livelihoods.
While Caribbean counties continued to meet and exceed standards on good governance, open borders and economic liberalization, developed nations continued to skirt their trade obligations and renege on their development pledges, to the detriment of the collective advancement of the Caribbean countries. CARICOM urged donor countries to resist the temptation to curtail official development assistance in response to the financial crisis. Aid commitments had gone unfulfilled for too long, even in times of global prosperity, and they could not be further delayed or avoided. A countercyclical increase in official development assistance was advisable to cushion the impact of the crisis, not in the global financial capitals, but in the streets and villages of the developing world.
Ambassador Gonsalves also noted the issues raised by migration. "CARICOM recognises the important link between migration and other global phenomena including poverty and income inequality; unemployment/ underemployment; capital flows, trade imbalances and debt sustainability; and understands that these issues must be considered together in order to truly grasp the challenges involved."
The Ambassador also raised the issue of the role of culture in the globalisation process.
"An understanding of, and respect for, culture and diversity is key to development in a globalised world," he said.
"As the world gets increasingly smaller and more interconnected, diverse cultures and civilisations are coming into greater and more frequent contact with each other. Whether these civilisations clash or coexist has critical developmental implications. We in CARICOM believe that our own rich cultural heritage is crucial to our economic and social development. A development-centered Globalisation process will, by its very nature, show us what we have in common. But it can and must also celebrate and ennoble that which makes us unique."