PM Douglas seeks CELAC’s support for Commonwealth Small States Initiatives
(CUOPM) – Taking advantage of the presence of Heads of State and Heads of Government of the Caribbean and Latin American Community (CELAC) in its II Summit presently underway in Havana, Cuba, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, sought the support of his colleagues for initiatives coming out of the recent meetings in Washington, D.C.
Last September, Prime Minister Douglas led a delegation of Commonwealth Ministers of Finance in discussions with officials of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Addressing the Summit in its Private Meeting Session before the plenary sessions, Prime Minister Douglas again outlined the plight of Small States, mostly high and middle income, highly indebted, highly vulnerable to exogenous shocks…..man-made, like the prolonged global financial and economic crises which started since 2008 and continuing today.
He also mentioned natural disasters related to climate change like those which on Christmas eve which brought destruction and loss of lives in three Caribbean countries – St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica, which have been locked out from concessional financing for their development because of premature graduation by the IFIS.
Prime Minister Douglas called on the Heads, which included Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, to further discuss these initiatives in their bi-laterals with the IFIs so that the international financial architecture would be changed giving due consideration to the special and peculiar situation of these states.
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader further urged that as Heads recall, the significant agreements achieved in the Rio+20 Conference last year and plan for the 3rd International Conference on SIDS in Samoa this year, these Commonwealth Initiatives of Small States, seeking Financing for Development, must be kept on the agenda especially as “we realize the challenges we face in achieving the current development goals set to be achieved by next year and planning for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.”
Dr. Douglas reminded the Caribbean and Latin American Community (CELAC) Heads that the Charter “we had adopted in the First Summit in Venezuela back in 2012, was as a result of the visionary foresight of President Fidel Castro and the dedicated execution and hard work of the “unforgettable” Venezuelan President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias.”
He noted that the same Charter binds “us together to pursue policies, programs and projects all designed to achieve sustainable economies that can support the continued advancement and improved quality of life for the 683 million people of the Community, especially the 183 millions living in poverty and the 60 millions who live in abject poverty.”