Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley addressing the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly today. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has told the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that “urgent global moral strategic leadership” is required to address some of the issues addressing the world.

In her contribution to the General Debate today, Ms. Mottley told the leaders that they must send the signal of direction they wanted the world to go in, at this dangerous moment.

She insisted: “Our voices must be heard and the nation states of this Assembly and the people of this world must indicate what direction we want our world to go in…. Let us do so with the calm assurance that those who labour in great causes never ultimately fail, but we must summon the courage to do it.

“I ask us, in the name of our people, to find the global moral strategic leadership. Global because our problems are global; moral because we must do the right thing, and strategic because we cannot solve every problem of the world, but we must solve those within our purview immediately,” she insisted.

The Prime Minister said Barbados would bring a resolution in plenary to endorse the approach of Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, which he outlined earlier in the week, and she asked her colleagues for their support.

“The Secretary-General’s speech (on Tuesday) said it all. But who will stand in here and support him, to give him the mandate and our institutions – be it the WHO, the IMF or the World Bank or the regional development banks, or the development institutions – the mandate to go forward, if we continue to refuse to summon the political will to confront what we know we must confront….

“I fear we leave UNGA in need of another UNGA, one with real engagement and one to secure real progress.  That is what he (Mr. Guterres) called for on Tuesday…. The token initiatives will not close the gap,” she maintained.

Ms. Mottley asked how many more variants of COVID-19 must arrive before a worldwide action plan for vaccinations be implemented, and how many more people must die before the 1.7 billion excess vaccines in the possession of the advanced countries of the world be shared with those who had no access to vaccines?

“How much more fake news will we allow to be spread without states defending the public digital space?  We’ve come together with alacrity to defend the right of states; to tax across the digital space, but we are not prepared to come together with the same alacrity to defend the rights of our citizens, to be duped by fake news in the same digital space,” she lamented.

The Prime Minister noted that the top five technology firms had a market capitalisation of $ 9.3 trillion, but sadly, some children were deprived of needed tools to participate in online education.

“We have the means to give every child on this planet a tablet and we have the means to give every adult a vaccine and we have the means to invest in protecting the most vulnerable on our planet from a changing climate, but we choose not to.

“It is not because we do not have enough.  It is because we do not have the will to distribute that which we have…,” she suggested.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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