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Towards Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
(68th Session)

SECOND COMMITTEE

STATEMENT

By

H.E. Mr. Delano Frank Bart
Permanent Representative of St. Kits and Nevis to the United Nations

ON BEHALF OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY
(CARICOM)

Agenda Item 26:
“Towards Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”

October 30, 2013

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Mr. Chairman,

1. On behalf of the 14 Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), it is an honor for me to address this Committee on agenda item 26 – entitled “Towards Global Partnership” – and its related sub-items. In this regard, CARICOM aligns itself fully with the statement made by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

2. CARICOM takes this opportunity to thank the Secretary General for the report prepared and submitted to guide our consideration of this agenda item. We find the recommendations outlined in this report to be succinct. We feel that they merit and will form the basis of further discussion at the highest level of CARICOM.

Mr. Chairman,

Definition of “Global Partnership”

1. The Secretary General’s report defines partnership as “a relationship voluntarily entered into to achieve shared goals.” It further explains that an effective global partnership “needs to embrace a shared vision, embody an acceptable set of obligations and responsibilities, and entail a package of commitment attractive enough for the partners to join.” Global partnerships also need to “embrace an attractive yet politically deliverable deal for realizing a common vision”

2. Therefore CARICOM countries recognize that the issues of global partnership must remain a guiding principle in the elaboration of the post-2015 agenda. The partnerships developed must include a transformative shift is towards a new spirit of solidarity, cooperation, and mutual accountability. Global partnerships must be based on a common understanding of our shared humanity, underpinning mutual respect and mutual benefit in a shrinking world. These partnerships must involve governments and their development partners but also include others: people living in poverty, those with disabilities, women, civil society and indigenous and local communities, traditionally marginalized groups, multilateral institutions, local and national government, the business community and academia.

Means of Evaluating Effective Global Partnerships

3. CARICOM countries seek to evaluate what constitutes effective global partnerships within the scope of the Millennium Development Goal 8 “ Global Partnerships for Development” The targets set for achieving this goal include inter alia the development of an open trading and financial system that deals comprehensively with developing countries debt problems that include a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction both nationally and internationally and that target the special needs of least developed, landlocked and small island developing states. Global partnerships also take into consideration collaboration with the private sector to make available essential drugs, the benefits of new technologies especially in the medical field and especially information and communications technologies.

Need of Good Global Governance Going Forward

Mr. Chairman,

4. The Caribbean Community acknowledges that after a decade of the renewed commitments of the Monterrey Consensus of 2002, which according to the SG’s Report “embraced a broader global partnership for development than was contained in Goal 8 of the MDGs, the world is faced with a serious global governance gap as it relates to achieving global partnership for development.

5. We echo the sentiments outlined in the Executive Summary of the Secretary General’s Report that continued collaboration and cooperation is needed in the areas of the increased Official Development Assistance (ODA), Market Access and Debt sustainability.

6. Bearing this is mind; we continue to urge countries to ask for a review of paradigm of country classification for ODA, higher overall average income does not necessarily indicate less poverty. Across our sub region the Caribbean, there are millions of people living below the poverty level and in vulnerable situations. While the gulf between the rich and the poor widens, the Gross National Income (GNI), which crudely divides a country’s total income by its total population to arrive at an estimate of average individual incomes, often obscures the fact that the majority of a country’s citizens may live in poverty, and fails to take into consideration each countries vulnerability and debt. As we seek to forge a way forward in the discussing the broad range of issues that have been proposed as priorities in the post 2015 development agenda and the need a commitment to the move towards a meaningful global partnership, we urge our development partners to take this critical issue into consideration.

7. CARICOM supports the recommendation that donor governments need to reverse the tw year contraction of ODA and make greater efforts to accomplish the MDGs and urges that Governments from both developed and developing countries to “increase transparency, predictably and use of ODA.
8. CARICOM calls for the conclusion of a development oriented Doha Round of trade negotiations. We hope that the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013; will be an opportunity to break and over 10 year impasse. We also acknowledge with regret that total donor commitments to the Aid for Trade initiative has declined in the last two years and call on donor countries to honor their commitments in this area.

9. Of critical importance to CARICOM is the issue of debt sustainability. We recognize that there are two critical issues facing our member states these include the challenge of reducing sovereign debt when our debt burdens become too excessive and how to restructure our debts in an effective and fair way that assists us in meeting both our domestic and international obligations. “The debt situation of the Caribbean highlights the challenges faced by many small states. Prior to the global financial crisis, several countries stabilized and even reduced their public debt ratios, supported by economic growth. However, strong linkages to the economies of the United States of America and Europe and a high dependence on tourism meant the region as a whole suffered from the severe negative impact from the recent financial crisis.”

10.These factors combined with the erosion of trade preferences and extreme weather events in several countries, led to poor — and even negative—economic growth. Contributing to the challenges faced are the high tariffs imposed on developing countries in the areas of agriculture, textile and clothing which contribute to the agricultural subsidies in developed countries. We call for the implementation of the commitment to eliminate all forms of agricultural export subsidies as well as to increase support for strengthening the productive sectors in developing countries.

11. In 2012, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis sought to restructure portions of their debt. Lessons learned in this process highlighted that there remains some inflexibility of the international financial structures which contain an ineffective mechanism to adequately resolve excessive sovereign debt. CARICOM agrees with the need to “establish an international mechanism for early, cooperative and comprehensive resolution of sovereign debt crises.” The ongoing debates and discussions at the United Nations level have reiterated the need for a rules based framework for debt crisis management.

Global Partnerships

12. CARICOM is also in support of the recognition of the important of partnerships as presented in the proposed theme for the SIDS 2014 International Conference: Genuine and Durable Partnerships for the Sustainable Development of SIDS. We are in agreement that existing partnerships have made significant impact towards the sustainable development of SIDS. In this context the theme highlights the recognition that “genuine partners are those who make time to understand your particular issues and always strand ready to provide support” and “durable partners are those who are “committed to working with you over the long term to find and implement solutions to overcome challenged faced and identified by SIDS”.

13. CARICOM supports the work of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which engages businesses and civil society as well as provider and recipient government and multilateral institutions.

14. As we approach the end of an era and look toward the post 2015 development process, our governments, policy makers, decision planners and all levels of society will be challenged to focus on shaping the types of partnerships that we want to develop and execute. Governments from both developed and developing countries will need to employ new ways of working, to go beyond an aid agenda. More importantly as developing states CARICOM recognizes that importance of putting our own house in order: this includes the need to implement a swift reduction in corruption, illicit financial flows, money-laundering, tax evasion, and hidden ownership of assets. We must fight climate change, champion free and fair trade, technology innovation, transfer and diffusion, and promote financial stability. We acknowledge that the partnerships we desire are built on principles of common humanity and mutual respect, it must also have a new spirit and be completely transparent. Everyone involved must be fully accountable. The global partnership framework must also ensure fairness and equality across all borders and oceans.

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