Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, is making a renewed appeal for concessionary financing for middle income countries that would assist in protecting them from the effects of climate change and other external shocks.
She made this call as she gave an update on Barbados’ position regarding the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), during a virtual High-Level Political Forum on the Voluntary National Review of the SDGs at United Nations House, on Thursday.
Speaking specifically to Sustainable Development Goal 17 – Partnership for Development – Minister Caddle said Government took full responsibility for achieving sustainable development in the country.
While acknowledging that Barbados was “standing up and pressing forward”, Ms. Caddle painted a picture of small economies that “are necessarily plugged into the international system; import most of what we consume; earn our daily bread by exporting to the world, and our financial system is foreign-owned”.
Minister Caddle argued that the international financial system had become a source of risk for vulnerable economies, and pointed to risks of external origin associated with global pandemics, climate change and the explosion of non-communicable diseases and the urgent need for solutions that require international agreements.
Ms. Caddle added: “We need effective international agreements that cap and lower global temperatures, that limit the spread of pandemics, and support nutrition and energy security, but we also cannot afford to wait, especially as a middle-income country. We need our vulnerability to be recognised and access to financing to help us build resilience to these external risks. Let us be clear, we earn too much to be considered poor, and too little to be heard to secure policy space. We call for more significant mobilisation of concessionary financing, especially for middle income countries.”
She intimated that the vulnerabilities of middle-income countries had been recognised on more than one occasion by the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Given this situation, the Minister said it was time for objective measures of vulnerability to be included to determine access to concessionary funding.
“And we say that if ever there was a reason for the expansion of global liquidity through the issuance of SDRs (special drawing rights) to offset destruction wrought by a world-wide pandemic or by climate change, it is now,” she stressed.