Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn. (FP)

As the global financing system is reshaped post COVID-19, greater attention must be paid to the crucial elements which influence vulnerability with regard to a country’s development.

This assertion came today from Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, as he participated, virtually, in the United Nations’ 2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The session had as its theme: Mobilizing Well Directed Financing.

Mr. Straughn said that countries, whether small or large, were vulnerable in some way. “It is critical that as we reshape the global financing system post COVID-19, that we pay much more attention to what are the key elements that influence vulnerability within the context of development ….

“Therefore, we would want to see a very focused approach in terms of addressing the key elements of vulnerability, so that the access to financing and the basis on which you are accessing finances will be determined by that measure of vulnerability.”

The Minister noted that Barbados and the region were vulnerable to a number of things, including the intense yearly storms that have ravaged some countries. 

He indicated that Barbados, having just restructured its debt, was in a good fiscal position, notwithstanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector.

“But we have accelerated, in a sense, the creation of a number of instruments to focus on how do we mobilize the resources that we have to respond to the resilience building that we have to do, whilst at the same time ensuring that there are mechanisms and structures in place to ensure that ordinary persons can benefit from that building out of the resilience, which will respond to a lot of the development agenda,” he said.

Mr. Straughn told the international community about the recent launch of a Renewable Energy Cooperative in Barbados, and pointed out that 2030 was the goal for the country to become fossil fuel free.

“The infrastructure that we are building out domestically would have as wide a participation as possible, so we can address poverty through the financial mechanisms that we are building out, in order to finance our development agenda,” he explained.

He expressed the view that there must be a cohesive framework to regulate growth and development issues for all developing countries going forward.

“It is important that issues relating to correspondent banking, anti-money laundering and standards are consistently followed with respect to all global partners so we can move forward under one clear framework,” he stated.

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