New Approaches To Assist Middle Income Countries

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart believes the time has come for new approaches to be designed to assist middle income countries and others which have been graduated from access to concessional resources.

Mr. Stuart disclosed, however, that proposed mechanisms to address those concerns were included in the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy of Further Implementation.

He made the comments while delivering a statement at the recently concluded Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa.

He told his audience: ???The call for implementation, echoed in every speech and indeed specified in paragraphs 96 to 120 of the Draft Outcome Document, is one of the defining features of this Conference. We must not by our inaction allow SIDS to be seen as a brotherhood of the distressed, the disadvantaged and the deprived. If we do not actively shape the future it will impose itself on us in ways that are fundamentally at variance with our interests.

???In this regard, we call on the United Nations Secretary General to develop an effective approach to the monitoring of the progress of UN agencies and programmes in addressing SIDS issues meaningfully.???

The Prime Minister stated that the issue of GDP per capita income and its use as the defining criterion for accessing concessionary financing was a great concern of SIDS.

He expressed the view that if in developed countries with abundant natural and other resources GDP per capita could be a deceptive and misleading measure, then it was even more so in a struggling SIDS country which has a number of issues, including unemployment and pressing and unmet demands for access to healthcare and education.

He said SIDS were concerned that after over two decades of highlighting their concerns, no specific programme had been established in the Global Environment Fund (GEF) to focus on this category of countries. He suggested that a special window should be established by the GEF to address SIDS concerns.

Acknowledging the efforts of UNDP and the World Bank to establish SIDS specific funds, he stressed that all SIDS, without exception, should be able to access these resources.

Mr. Stuart expressed the view that efforts to respond to the peculiar needs of SIDS, as set out in the Samoa Pathway Outcome Document, should extend to and include the cross-section of issues being addressed by the international community on trade, finance, economic, social and cultural development.

???SIDS need to have a seat at the table on all of these issues,??? he stated, while calling on SIDS leaders to work together to implement the ???SIDS Collectivity.???

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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