Portia at UN: support small nationsJamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller (FP)
Thu, September 27, 2012 - 5:04 PM
UNITED NATIONS , Sept. 27, CMC - Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller has called on world leaders to support small countries as they seek to build resilience to economic and environmental shocks.
In her address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Simpson Miller said the global economy continues to be beset by uncertainty.
“This is compounded by the lingering negative effects of the financial and economic crises. The global shocks have affected all our peoples. They threaten our communities; weaken our families…and challenge individuals everywhere - regardless of hemisphere or region…”
“ We dare not forget that a significant proportion of the world's poorest citizens live in Middle Income Countries. This is a diverse group which includes large developing economies and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as those in the Caribbean”
She pointed to the need for reforms in global economic governance, including the international financial institutions, and the need take into account special and differential treatment for small and vulnerable economies.
“Refocusing of the development agenda in terms of financial flows, will also go a long way in helping to bolster our natural resilience and resolve”.
The Jamaican Prime Minister said the small states are hampered by the volatility of energy and food prices, decreases in export commodity prices, and weak capital inflows.
“Increasing food prices cause untold hardships for many of our people, particularly the most vulnerable in our societies. Small countries need greater support to build resilience to economic and environmental shocks.
Human trafficking was another issue addressed by Simpson Miller.
“Jamaica is resolute in its commitment to strengthening local and national programmes to eliminate violence against women and children. At the same time, I call on the international community to take bold actions to address this scourge. Issues that affect women and children must be central to decision-making processes. We look forward to continued collaboration with UN Women and the international community to help break this cycle of exploitation and insecurity”She also called for an end to the trade and economic embargo on Cuba, stating that the embargo against Cuba - a close neighbour and friend of Jamaica, has had severe negative effects on its growth and development.
“Jamaica reiterates its call for an end to the embargo against Cuba and the extra-territorial measures aimed at extending its reach to include third countries”
Concerning another Caribbean neighbour – Haiti, she said more than two years after the devastating earthquake, Haiti’s plight remains deeply troubling.
“We are concerned that only a fraction of the pledges have been disbursed and yet the humanitarian situation in Haiti is perilous. As a close friend and neighbour of Haiti, with strong
historical ties, I encourage members of the international community to make good on their commitments. The Haitian people need our continued support”
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