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PM knocks developed member states at UN

PM knocks developed member states at UN

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves took a jab at the developed members of the United Nations for what he described as a collective failure to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).{{more}}

During his opening remarks at the General Debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held September, 27, in New York, Gonsalves said the collective failure to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is “largely rooted not in the shortcomings of earnest and hardworking developing countries, but in developed countries’ abject abandonment of Goal 8, titled ‘Develop a Global Partnership for Development.’”

According to the Prime Minister, the UN’s own MDG Gap Task Force noted that the quest for such a global partnership experienced “significant backsliding” in 2013 and that “the political momentum for advancing international development cooperation seems to have waned.

“Sixteen of 25 developed countries decreased their aid budgets last year, and Official Development Assistance (ODA) contracted for the second consecutive year, the first such contraction since the creation of the MDGs. In a time of crisis, when assistance is most needed, ODA is itself in a deep and prolonged recession.

“The twists and turns by so many developed countries on this issue have been most disappointing. Without predictable flows of meaningful, non-discretionary assistance, the post-2015 development programme will remain, substantially, a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but rarely if ever attained,” Gonsalves further stated.

He, however, applauded the efforts of those developed nations which take their commitments on ODA seriously.

“I hail, too, a raft of other countries which are in a genuine developmental and functional partnership with us. These include Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Venezuela, and Taiwan. Indeed, Taiwan, a country not washed by our Caribbean sea, has been remarkable in its principled and practical conduct of intergovernmental relations.

“Surely, the time has now come for this exemplar of the magnificent Chinese civilisation to be permitted to participate fully in the work of the various agencies of this world body,” Gonsalves further told the gathering.

Prime Minister Gonsalves went on to state that despite the challenges of the ongoing exogenous shocks, including natural disasters, and the encumbrances imposed by an insufficiently flexible international financial architecture, St Vincent and the Grenadines continues to make significant strides in our people-centred approach to development and poverty alleviation.

This past June, St Vincent and the Grenadines was one of 18 countries recognised by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for achieving Millennium Development Goal number 1 – halving the proportion of hungry people by 2015 – to below five per cent, and the more stringent World Food Summit goal of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015.

“For a small, vulnerable country to achieve this task ahead of schedule and in the midst of this debilitating global economic and financial crisis is truly outstanding. And we have done so while maintaining and advancing good governance, individual liberties, and democracy in accord with global best practices,” Dr Gonsalves said.

The MDGs are eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

All 189 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations committed to help achieve these goals by the year 2015.

The goals are: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality rates; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development. (AA)

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