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Transformative change necessary for global economic development

Transformative change necessary for global economic development

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by Kevin Hope

We need change that is fundamental and transformative rather than change that is simply incremental.

This is according to Don McKinnon, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, in his address to the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting held at Barbados Hilton, Barbados from September 17 to 20.

McKinnon expressed that it was unfortunate that the latest UN Human Development Report showed less than positive readings. {{more}}

“Clearly, we live in a world with shocking poverty, exclusion and inequality. The world’s 500 richest people have a combined income greater than that of the poorest 416 million. Every hour of every day 1200 children die and those deaths are avoidable.” He said.

“Our world, of course, does not have to be this way. Indeed, such deprivation is a threat to the wellbeing of all of us. We need change that is fundamental and transformative rather than change that is simply incremental.”

McKinnon indicated that though some of the countries in the Commonwealth have been experiencing an improvement in governance and economic stability, others have showed slow progress. The constituencies of Africa and the smaller states in the Commonwealth continued to be marginalized, with their share of global trade and investment declining in recent years at a time when effort should be directed to the opposite.

“Fairer trade is the most potent means to combat global poverty. My visits around the Commonwealth have made me acutely aware of the inequalities and unfairness of the global trading system. The longer the multilateral system fails to deliver the potential of integration into global markets, the longer poverty will persist.”

This message came against the backdrop of the Commonwealth’s past 20 years advocacy on root and branch debt relief for the highly indebted poor countries (HIPC).

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