Globalization must become a win-win process, Jamaica tells General Assembly
Globalization must be transformed from a process that creates winners and losers into one that benefits all countries and regions, Jamaican Foreign Minister Kenneth Baugh told the General Assembly today.
Speaking at the annual high-level debate at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Mr. Baugh stressed that more needs to be done by nations rich and poor if the world is to achieve the set of anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Official development assistance (ODA) should be increased, debt relief widened, private capital flows encouraged and the global trading system reformed, he said, calling for a “global partnership for development” between the North and the South.
“We must recognize that progress and upliftment of the poor benefits all of us,” he said. “It can mean the difference between conflict and stability, between hope and despair.”
He warned that the processes of globalization and economic liberalization have exposed many poor and vulnerable nations to external economic forces over which they have little control. “We should refuse to accept that globalization creates winners and losers. What we should strive for is a win-win and inclusive process in which the benefits and opportunities are more widely enjoyed across countries and regions.”
Patrick Pillay, Foreign Minister of Seychelles, echoed those remarks in his address to the high-level debate.
“Globalization has the potential to advance human development throughout the world. But this is not automatic. For globalization has also increased our vulnerability, insecurity and the possibility of marginalization,” he said.
Mr. Pillay said small island developing States (SIDS) deserved special treatment in multilateral trade negotiations because of their specific structural handicaps, adding that the effects of climate change were leaving those countries ever more vulnerable to economic shocks and problems.
Grenada’s Foreign Minister Elvin Nimrod also called for SIDS to receive special treatment given their combination of economic and environmental vulnerability.
He said the UN system, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) need to draw up “a new set of metrics, a new set of rules and a new level of support” to assist these nations.
S. R. Insanally, Guyana’s Foreign Minister, expressed dismay that many industrialized countries were practising “misguided ‘beggar thy neighbour’ policies which effectively preclude developing countries from satisfying the aspirations of their peoples to a better life.”
The Foreign Minister said such nations continue to advance the thesis that free trade will guarantee prosperity for all. “The reality is that most countries, such as my own, simply cannot compete successfully in fully liberalized markets unless they are assisted in making a gradual transition. Instead of assistance, however, some of the preferences which we have enjoyed hitherto in some markets are being summarily withdrawn.”
Mr. Insanally said this indicated how critical it is that the Doha round of global trade negotiations produce a solution that pays due regard to the development challenges facing small and poor States.