A second Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leader has within the space of one week criticized developed countries for failing to grant aid to poorer nations in keeping with their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) commitment.
The MDGs are the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability by 2015.
Goal number 8 speaks of developing a global partnership for development.
And St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, on Monday highlighted the failure of the majority of world’s richest nations to live up to their commitment under Goal 8.
“The Developed countries have pledged to provide 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to the developing countries by way of aid. There are only a few countries which do that. I don’t want to call the names of those who don’t, but we have a partnership with eight Millennium Development Goals,” Gonsalves said.
He noted that the first goal is the reduction of poverty, a target that St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana have achieved and were recognised for by the Food and Agricultural Organisation earlier this year.
Gonsalves also pointed out that MDG 8 is about “an efficacious partnership between the developed and developing countries, which includes a solemn commitment regarding an agreed proportion.
“This is what we all agreed on internationally, and the development countries have not kept their part of the bargain,” Gonsalves further said.
“I know when I speak about this, there are some in this country [who] say, ‘Why are you complaining if the people don’t provide you with their own resources?’” he said at the launch of the Caribbean Development Bank funded South Leeward Highway, which is expected to cost some EC$40 million.
“But this is a solemn international agreement. This is not a matter which is discretionary. This is one leaders agreed upon. And when we have agreements, when we have international obligations, we must comply. Otherwise, there will be disorder and that is why I insist always that if you do not live up to your commitment — your aid commitment, the official development assistance — I must speak of it,” Gonsalves further said
“And then, when I say that the post 2015 development agenda must contain a very special segment to address the issue of reparation for native genocide and slavery, the same people say why am I looking in the past, why I don’t look to the future,” said Gonsalves who expressed similar sentiments at the United Nations General Assembly last month.
“Well, I am looking to the future. I am not staying in the past, but I appreciate that the present is the past and we need a repairing for the legacy of native genocide and slavery,” said Gonsalves, who this year convinced his Caribbean Community colleagues to form a reparations commission to seek from Europe compensation for ills committed during colonisation.
Last week, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy also criticized developed countries for their failure to meet their commitments under Goal 8.
“MDG 8 is a failure of the developed countries. They didn’t keep their obligation. MDG 8 was to make sure that technology and innovation are shared in an equitable manner around the world. But the truth is that we don’t have access to the technology that could transfer our technology around the world,” Ramsammy said during Caribbean Week of Agriculture held in Guyana.
“MDG 8 has been a colossal failure and we must stand up and speak,” he further said.