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Ambassador Camillo M. Gonsalves.
Ambassador Camillo M. Gonsalves.

TAIPEI, Taiwan: – A Caribbean diplomat has slammed the G-20 for its omission of developing nations from the search for solutions to the global economic crisis.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Permanent Representative to the United Nations Camillo M. Gonsalves said on Tuesday that while the G-20 last week anointed itself “the premier forum for our international economic cooperation”, the group “faces a serious legitimacy problem”.

He said that developing nations were not consulted on the G-20’s “ascension to the ranks of arbiters of our economic fate”.

“[A]side from being non- inclusive and unofficial, many of the countries at that table represent the champions of the financial and economic orthodoxies that led the world down the rabbit-hole to its current economic malaise,” he told the UN General Assembly.

He said it was logical that a small group of the world’s largest economies would “meet informally to thrash out matters that affect only their own large economies”.

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“The logic fades in the face of a crisis that has spread rapidly and comprehensively to every corner of the globe,” he added.

Gonsalves said that developing nations have been “hard hit” by the global economic crisis and in his country, the tourism industry was suffering, remittances were shrinking, and foreign direct investment was scarce.

He said “the specter of unemployment” was a “real and gathering … threat” in the Caribbean.

Gonsalves described as “cold comfort to the suffering peoples and countries of the world” the G20’s “recent self-congratulatory pronouncements of ‘mission accomplished’”.

“While the G-20 may claim that their actions have “worked,” and claim a “sense of normalcy,” the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and our Caribbean region are under no such illusions,” he said.

“The invisible hand of the market is still clasped firmly around the throats of poor people and the developing countries of the world. We see none of the so-called “green shoots” that populate the fantasies of discredited economic cheerleaders,” he added.

According to Gonsalves, “…[T]he seeds sown by this crisis may produce the strange and bitter fruit of increased poverty, suffering and social and political upheaval.

“The crisis itself, with its disproportionate impact on the poor, will only widen and deepen the yawning gap between developed and developing countries,” he told the international body.