Mr. Byron Blake
on Financing For Development
Mr / Madam Chairperson:
This Conference faces a monumental challenge. It seeks to address the
critical issue of the means to development in a spirit
One question to be asked is whether, "the Monterrey Consensus" identifies and secures access to a level of resources for the majority of countries - members of the United Nations - which could begin to address their development challenges. As early as 1965, when the development gap, measured by the income gap, was nearer 25:1, it was assessed that development assistance of 0.7% of the GNP of the developed countries would be necessary to begin to close the gap. With that gap more in the region of 100:1; with global climate change and sea-level rise; and with increasing demands to provide for global security; the Consensus has only found it possible to urge developed countries to make best effortstowards the 0.7% of GNP - no timeframe.
CARICOM's Interest in the Conference:
CARICOM, is comprised of fourteen (14), soon to be fifteen (15) of the
smallest and most vulnerable countries in the world. Its entire membership
is included in the forty-nine States which the Commonwealth Secretariat
/ World Bank Task Force described as "small states" in its April 2000 Report.
That Report concluded that "small states share a number of special developmental
challenges in the global economy". These challenges arise from factors
beyond their control including:
Yet, CARICOM States are among small States which the international community considers not to be in need of any special categorization for development resources and are often candidates for graduation from the concessionary resources of the international financial institutions because of the application of inappropriate criteria and the general scarcity of such resources. This Conference on Financing for Development must address this issue squarely. Small size, coupled with extreme vulnerability, must create conditions deserving of special consideration in the direct provision of resources for development and in the indirect provision through a more equitable and responsive international trading system.
Small States are not geographic curiosities, they are real which the international community must embrace, accommodate and facilitate in their quest for people-centred and environmentally sensitive development.
What Have the Small States in CARICOM Been Doing to Assist Themselves to Overcome the Challenges
While the small States in the Caribbean recognize the need for international cooperation they also acknowledge their own responsibility to address the challenges and constraints to their development.
To address the challenge of small size they have embraced regional integration and cooperation to increase market size and access to production resources and to share the cost of certain services through common programmes. They are on a legally binding programme to remove all restrictions to the movement of capital, the provision of services and the right to establish businesses among themselves by the end of 2005. Free Trade in goods has already been achieved.
In the spirit of open regionalism, CARICOM has also been establishing trade and cooperation agreements with other developing countries to increase market size and induce competition.
What Did CARICOM Expect Of the Monterrey Conference:
CARICOM recognizes that the challenges of development are deepseated
and that significant resources and appropriate and mutually re-inforcing
policies at national, regional and international levels are required to
address the difficulties facing developing countries, in particular, the
least developed and the small and vulnerable States. CARICOM, therefore,
expected this long overdue International Conference on Financing for Development,
at least, to:
Mr I Madam Chairperson:
Coming in the wake of September 11; and of the Doha Ministerial and
just ahead of the World Summit on Sustainable Development,
Statements at the Conference