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H.E. Mr. Bruce Golding, Prime Minister

26 September 2008

Statement Summary

BRUCE GOLDING, Prime Minister of Jamaica, who noted the increase of global production and expanded trade, stressed that the widening gap between rich and poor was likewise expanding, and hopes for the broad achievements of the Millennium Development Goals were fading.  With the global economy headed into a severe downturn, and myriad interrelated crises, among them food and fuel shortages, there was an urgent need for developed countries to assist developing countries in improving their economies by expanding productivity, gaining better access to global markets and boosting human capacity-building.

He stated his strong belief that this was not altruism, but rather an essential investment in developing countries that would, among other things, expand markets and increase purchasing power.  Because of the interdependent nature of the world’s nations, that would also help address the shared global issues of climate change, global epidemics, organized crime and human trafficking.  Global development, not just global markets, needed to be the centre of Member State’s priorities.  “We must commit ourselves to creating a world in which not everyone may be rich, but no one has to be poor.”

Concerned that halfway to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the global community was falling more and more behind schedule, he said that the partnership between developed and developing countries, as defined in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development, was a critical component to the success of the Goals.  Developing countries needed to ensure their priorities in development, and developed countries needed to keep their commitment to devote 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product to official development assistance (ODA).  He noted that only five developed countries had kept this commitment.

Diverse economic and social profiles of developing countries also needed to include middle-income countries with deep pockets of poverty.  In that regard, he called for the international recognition of CARICOM States as a special category of “small vulnerable and highly indebted middle-income countries”.  The redesign of a global financial system to reflect new global realities that was development-driven would support forward progress and impact poverty throughout the world, he added.

Developing countries were more vulnerable and more impacted by climate change and natural disasters, he said, calling for more long-term social, economic and development strategies, as well as sustainable solutions to fragile humanitarian situations.  He expressed Jamaica’s concern regarding the many serious crises throughout the world, and called for strong actions to address and resolve the Middle East conflict, and the persistent humanitarian crisis in Darfur.  Greater efforts were also needed towards eliminating nuclear arms, curbing illicit trade of small arms, and identifying comprehensive international support for its neighbour, Haiti, among others.

Concluding, he challenged Member States to ignore the cynicism that existed about the United Nations, and called for the end to the “squabbling and procrastination” among Members over much-needed reforms within the Organization, specifically the Security Council.  Fulfilling the mandate of the Charter was still unfinished business.  He asked that the leadership of Member States must not fail “the hopes of people everywhere” to create a peaceful and secure world.

[Source: GA/10756]