Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Prime Minister blasts international community for stifling economic growth in developing countries

PM Gaston Browne at UN

PM Gaston Browne at UN

UNITED NATIONS, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda says the refusal of the international community to grant concessional financing is stifling economic growth in the Caribbean.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne addressing the special session of the UN General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014, said the problem for the Caribbean is not population growth.

“…it is the refusal of the international financial institutions to grant us concessional financing that we urgently require to build conditions that would create jobs for our small population.

“The problem also lies in the rejection of debt forgiveness or at least meaningful debt re-rescheduling that would give us a chance to recover the development ground that we have lost,” said Browne, who is also chairman of the 15-member regional integration movement, CARICOM.

He said in 1994 when the ICPD meeting took place in Cairo, member states agreed on a Programme of Action that, it was claimed, would quicken the pace of development and secure a better future for generations yet to come.

“But, two decades later, the results have not been nearly as expected. Underdevelopment and poverty continue to plague many developing states.”

Prime Minister Browne said that a global economic crisis in 2008, emanating not from the poor, but generated by the rich, sent the economic system into a tailspin, and its effects permeated most developing countries, the Caribbean sub-region principally among them.

“Its most devastating impact was to return many states and peoples to pre-1994 conditions.The current state of wealth and income inequality between wealthy states and poor ones, and even between the wealthy and the poor within states, is justly described by the most recent Report as “unsustainable.”

Prime Minister said too many of the earth’s inhabitants have been left behind; and too many of the youth and the elderly have been left out.

He said unemployment is the most severe of the many challenges that all societies face and that youth unemployment is the most frightening.

“It destroys our human capital, our most precious human resource. It condemns young people, capable of innovation and creativity, into lives on the margins of society or to lives of crime and violence.”

Prime Minister Browne, who came to office in June this year, said that the nuclear family—the basis of all civilizations—is placed under great stress, as young couples are squeezed out of housing markets, mortgages, credit, and faith in the future.
“Is it any wonder that, across the global landscape, there is youth discontent and frustration with governance systems?

“And it should be said and noted – with all the seriousness that it is due – that when small states like mine venture into areas of productivity, such as financial services that challenge the dominance of some developed countries, the response is to bludgeon us with threats and blacklisting so that we either surrender or perish.”

He said the principal victims are the very qualified young people who we have spent millions of dollars to train so that they could compete in a globalised world.

“But, our economies as a whole also suffer – leaving us unable to provide adequately for the health care of our sick and elderly, and to guard our population against non-communicable diseases.”

Prime Minister Browne said the Caribbean is grappling with the Chikungunya virus outbreak that “is spreading across the Caribbean sub-region with severe consequences for our economies.
“We now live in trepidation of the spread of the Ebola virus, for the costs to our small countries would go far beyond the huge expense of medical treatment. The effect on tourism, which now accounts on average for 60 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of many of our countries, would be devastating.

“Yet, the international community has not responded to the disease in parts of West Africa with the urgency for which it cries out. The world must be grateful for the helpful actions taken by China, Cuba and the United States, but what is needed is a global response. People are dying; people are frightened; people have little or no hope.”

Prime Minister Browne said that if the world waits for a global pandemic “before we all act together, the effect will set us back even further than the financial crisis of 2008 or the recessions that preceded it”.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

PM Gaston Browne at UN

PM Gaston Browne at UN

UNITED NATIONS, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda says the refusal of the international community to grant concessional financing is stifling economic growth in the Caribbean.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne addressing the special session of the UN General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014, said the problem for the Caribbean is not population growth.

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“…it is the refusal of the international financial institutions to grant us concessional financing that we urgently require to build conditions that would create jobs for our small population.

“The problem also lies in the rejection of debt forgiveness or at least meaningful debt re-rescheduling that would give us a chance to recover the development ground that we have lost,” said Browne, who is also chairman of the 15-member regional integration movement, CARICOM.

He said in 1994 when the ICPD meeting took place in Cairo, member states agreed on a Programme of Action that, it was claimed, would quicken the pace of development and secure a better future for generations yet to come.

“But, two decades later, the results have not been nearly as expected. Underdevelopment and poverty continue to plague many developing states.”

Prime Minister Browne said that a global economic crisis in 2008, emanating not from the poor, but generated by the rich, sent the economic system into a tailspin, and its effects permeated most developing countries, the Caribbean sub-region principally among them.

“Its most devastating impact was to return many states and peoples to pre-1994 conditions.The current state of wealth and income inequality between wealthy states and poor ones, and even between the wealthy and the poor within states, is justly described by the most recent Report as “unsustainable.”

Prime Minister said too many of the earth’s inhabitants have been left behind; and too many of the youth and the elderly have been left out.

He said unemployment is the most severe of the many challenges that all societies face and that youth unemployment is the most frightening.

“It destroys our human capital, our most precious human resource. It condemns young people, capable of innovation and creativity, into lives on the margins of society or to lives of crime and violence.”

Prime Minister Browne, who came to office in June this year, said that the nuclear family—the basis of all civilizations—is placed under great stress, as young couples are squeezed out of housing markets, mortgages, credit, and faith in the future.
“Is it any wonder that, across the global landscape, there is youth discontent and frustration with governance systems?

“And it should be said and noted – with all the seriousness that it is due – that when small states like mine venture into areas of productivity, such as financial services that challenge the dominance of some developed countries, the response is to bludgeon us with threats and blacklisting so that we either surrender or perish.”

He said the principal victims are the very qualified young people who we have spent millions of dollars to train so that they could compete in a globalised world.

“But, our economies as a whole also suffer – leaving us unable to provide adequately for the health care of our sick and elderly, and to guard our population against non-communicable diseases.”

Prime Minister Browne said the Caribbean is grappling with the Chikungunya virus outbreak that “is spreading across the Caribbean sub-region with severe consequences for our economies.
“We now live in trepidation of the spread of the Ebola virus, for the costs to our small countries would go far beyond the huge expense of medical treatment. The effect on tourism, which now accounts on average for 60 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of many of our countries, would be devastating.

“Yet, the international community has not responded to the disease in parts of West Africa with the urgency for which it cries out. The world must be grateful for the helpful actions taken by China, Cuba and the United States, but what is needed is a global response. People are dying; people are frightened; people have little or no hope.”

Prime Minister Browne said that if the world waits for a global pandemic “before we all act together, the effect will set us back even further than the financial crisis of 2008 or the recessions that preceded it”.