Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, has underscored the importance of south-south and triangular cooperation in efforts to reform international development cooperation and build global partnerships for effective development cooperation.

She made this observation while addressing a gathering of high-level officials during the general debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York recently.

Senator McClean intimated that the region possessed a wealth of experience that may be shared with developing and middle income countries in areas such as education and training; health care; social partnering; clean energy policies and technologies; environmental protection; and the provision of social safety nets.

However, she lamented that like other small island developing states, Barbados was constrained by limited financial resources and the ???persistent and prolonged global financial crisis which continues to have a negative impact on resource mobilisation and financial flows to developing countries???.

Senator McClean added: ???Barbados supports the observation made by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, that there is a need to incentivise the Global South to invest more in multilateral forms of South-South cooperation. We welcome therefore, the formation of partnerships with the private sector, international organisations, donors and civil society organisations specifically designed to better facilitate such South-South cooperation.???

The Foreign Affairs Minister also mentioned the need for greater equity, fairness and transparency in the methods employed to determine socio-economic classifications and resource allocation.

She noted that the persistent use of ???arbitrarily-determined international classification and ratings systems which are based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and other narrow criteria, must be expanded in scope to take into account the meaningful variables such as vulnerability???.

Senator McClean added: ???In this context, we reference again the observation made by the UN Secretary General that GDP per capita on its own is an inadequate indicator. We also applaud the useful research being conducted on vulnerability indices and other measures beyond GDP by bodies such as the Commonwealth, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the UN Statistical Commission. Barbados will continue its advocacy on this issue.???

The Foreign Affairs Minister said Barbados, like other SIDS, must incorporate delivery modalities that encompassed finance; good governance; development cooperation; trade capacity building and institutional strengthening.

She gave the assurance that the island was committed to strengthening strong partnerships to ???craft effective and truly lasting global solutions???.

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