Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley – Global launch event of the 2020 Human Development Report (HDR). (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has reiterated that moral and ethical global leadership is most urgently needed, which can make a real difference in the lives of people.

Ms. Mottley expressed this view on Tuesday afternoon as she delivered a statement at the High-Level Segment of the Virtual Launch of the 2020 Human Development Report.  

The 30th Anniversary Edition of the UNDP report has as its theme: The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene.

The Prime Minister stated: “Moral and ethical global leadership will make a difference to those who need vaccines across the countries of the world, recognising that it should not only be available to the rich and to the powerful.”

She said this honest leadership was necessary at all levels – within governments, corporations and civil society, as well as among individuals, whether as shareholders or stakeholders.

Prime Minister Mottley expressed optimism that programmes would be put in place to ensure that there is harmony between humans and the earth.  

“If we heed the wake-up call and refuse to slide back into complacency when the current emergency recedes, I am convinced that we can find the will and the capacity to implement policies that strike a sustainable balance between humanity and the planet.

“A balance,” she continued, “that aims to redress social and economic inequalities between and within states; incentivises behavioural change towards positive environmental stewardship; seeks to fight the next slow-motion pandemic of anti-microbial resistance from now, rather than waiting to when it becomes the largest killer of human beings in 2050; finances green transitions; and inculcates values of caring and community within our societies.”

Describing the Human Development Report as an “extraordinary body of revolutionary work”, Ms. Mottley said it has sought to shift the focus of development economics from the narrow lens of cold statistics on economic growth to the broader sweep of policies with people at their centre.

She added that the Human Development Report has challenged the status quo and brought fresh approaches to tackling many of the most stubborn issues that face the world today.

“For small island developing states like…Barbados, and others in the Caribbean, our people are our main resource.  Building social capital through investment in education and health is at the heart of our policy-making….

“I cannot tell you how often, and how strongly, successive Governments in Barbados have been pressured in the past by international financial institutions and others to end these so-called “unsustainable entitlements”. 

But we have persevered, and we have lived to see the tide begin to change.  In major ways, the Human Development Report has been a beacon of light to Barbados and to many other small middle-income countries like ours. Its central philosophy speaks directly to us, and helps to capture and explore our own realities,” she stated.

The Prime Minister said the theme of the 2020 Human Development Report is relevant, as this has been a cataclysmic year of extraordinary devastation.

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