NEW YORK, USA – The tepid and timid response of wealthy nations has failed to heal the global economy, three years into the international financial crisis.
Further, according to St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, declarations that the global economy is recovering were premature.
He told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that asking suffering people from countries that did not contribute to the crisis to be patient is “of cold comfort”.
Gonsalves said that the grim economic clouds of three years ago, rather than dissipating, seem to be increasing.
He told world leaders that in addition to the economic crisis, storms and hurricanes have buffeted SVG and the Caribbean, “yet again upending our fragile economies and causing painful developmental setbacks.”
Gonsalves said that even as the economic storm clouds thicken, economies in the world remain in peril, spurring rising global unemployment and poverty, which have engendered a feeling of hopelessness, especially among the youth.
The effect of this is a major contributor to global unrest “that has pitted disgruntled youth and others in violent opposition to government forces, from Tottenham to Tripoli,” Gonsalves told the international forum.
“Social unrest elsewhere beckons in dozens of countries, where neither the socio-economic conditions nor the political institutions can much longer contain the enormous pressures,” he said.
“The uncoordinated lurches from stimulus to austerity and back typify the confusion of the self appointed premier fora of our international economic cooperation,” said Gonsalves, who is also the Minister of Finance in SVG.
“The recovery that they prematurely declared was false and fleeting and the council of patience and the prediction of long-term recovery are of cold comfort to the suffering of peoples of those countries that did not contribute to the crisis.”
He said that the economic debacle threatens to have debilitating and on-going consequences in small, vulnerable and highly indebted, middle-income countries like SVG.
“We cannot afford to wait for the promise of incremental or cyclical optics in the global economy. Small states need the fiscal and policy space to creativity spur development in ways that comply not with the checklist of discredited economic theorists but with the real world particularities and people-centred policies. International financial institutions are yet to grasp sufficiently this simple fact,” Gonsalves said.