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Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has reiterated that the global financial system must be restructured, revolutionised and democratised.

Ms. Mottley expressed this view today, as she addressed the opening ceremony for the two-day virtual meeting of the 58th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Explaining why updating the global financial system was necessary, she continued: “Only in this way, can vulnerable sub-regions like our Caribbean Community escape the prison of the false per capita based “middle income” categorisation which is blocking us from receiving much-needed financial aid, while penalising our efforts at creating sustainable national economies.

“We refrain from settling on more appropriate proxies like a vulnerability index that will better measure our capacity to absorb shocks like this and our capacity to be able to respond to them. Equally, we continue to use raw and imprecise proxies to determine access to so many public goods, including in this instance, vaccines and therapeutics.”

The Prime Minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had torn families apart, undermined people’s livelihoods, threatened their mental wellness and nearly destroyed economies.

“But worse of all, it has made some of us even more selfish and unwilling to share scarce resources that could help save lives in our region, in our hemisphere and in our globe. Disappointingly enough, some have made it a fight for survival similar to what we would see on the “big screen” in post-apocalyptic movies,” she suggested.

She thanked the Director and staff of PAHO for their consistent and tangible support to the region of the Americas and Barbados during the pandemic. She said were it not for PAHO, this region would not have been able to get its testing capacity up.

Ms. Mottley noted that Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris, will represent the Caribbean Community on the global steering committee of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which would oversee the COVAX Facility.

“We are confident that this arrangement will ensure equity in access to treatments and vaccines. For without this public good, we shall truly be left behind,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

COVAX is one of three pillars of ACT Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organization, the European Commission and France in response to this pandemic. 

Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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