At UN meet… President voices concern about ‘wrong direction’ of international financial flow
PRESIDENT Donald Ramotar has expressed concern over what he terms ‘the wrong direction’ that the net flow of international finances is moving.
By ‘wrong direction’ he meant from developing to developed countries, thereby creating an unhealthy financial situation for countries like Guyana, in that while some countries have more resources than others, the economic and social disparities are growing.
“The gaps between the top and bottom segments of our world population are widening greatly,” he said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly’s 69th debate, adding that the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has reached what he deems to be “dangerous” proportions.
To bolster his argument, he quoted the recently released data from Oxfam International, an international organisation committed to alleviating poverty, which shows thgat the richest 1% of the world’s population owns about 46% of the global wealth, which is some $110 trillion. In comparison, the bottom 50% of the world’s population owns 0.7% of the world’s wealth or just about $1.7 trillion.
Noting that this degree of inequality is unsustainable,” President Ramotar said, “In much the same manner, while we have all agreed on increased developmental assistance to developing countries, the reality is that the net transfer of financial resources from developing to developed countries continues unabated, amounting to US$200 billion in 2002 and increasing to US$557 billion in 2010.”
He not only contends that the perverse trend is continuing but draws only part of the larger picture, but that with the transfer of financial resources from developing to developed countries, there is also the transfer of skilled and trained persons through migration.
He also noted that developing countries would have invested in the education, training and the provision of health to their respective citizens, only to have their investment migrate to developed countries which have more established economies.
“Clearly, all of these imbalances are unsustainable, and will only be addressed through concerted global action,” President Ramotar said, adding, “While many developing countries demonstrated serious determination in working towards the goals by allocating more resources to human development, the support by the developed countries as envisaged by MDG 8 fell significantly short of expectations.”
He further expressed disappointment that only about half-a-dozen developed countries have kept their pledge to provide 0.7% of their Gross National Product (GNP) towards the delivery of aid to qualifying developing countries like Guyana.
The President used the forum to remind UN member states of that commitment which was made over four decades ago. In a like manner, President Ramotar called for further debt relief of developing countries, including the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), of which Guyana is part, as debt accumulated by these countries makes their economies unsustainable.
He reminded the General Assembly of the proposal which was first presented by former President, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, for a New Global Human Order. That proposal, President Ramotar noted, seeks to balance the interests of the developed and developing countries.
“It is a proposal whose time has come, and should be pursued with other initiatives to find solutions so that we can realise the dreams of generations that came before us for peace, progress and prosperity,” he said.
The UN General Assembly, which comprises of all 193 members of the United Nations, meets once a year at its Headquarters in New York. It provides a forum for all member states, including Guyana, to engage in multilateral discussions, and to lend voice to a variety of international issues, as provided for in the UN Charter.