McClean: Many challenges ahead
MINISTER OF FOREIGN Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean believes a number of ongoing global activities will have a direct impact on Barbados’ national development.
Her comments came during a special Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) forum at the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) yesterday. She was speaking on the topic Creating government and civil society partnership for national development.
“As we seek to build partnerships we need to have an understanding of, and undertake evaluation of a range of factors . . . . the various environments in which we are operating will have a significant impact on what we are doing. The global economic, social and political, et cetera, environment is one which is perhaps of greater influence on us than we can perhaps influence . . . .,” she said.
Senator McClean said apart from the global conditions, local and regional “realities” should also be factored in along with stages of citizens’ development and the conditions of civil society organisations in Barbados.
She said being labelled as a middle income developing country compounded by recent global events, whether natural or otherwise, may contribute to Barbados’ chance of getting international assistance being difficult.
“So we see there is no sparing of impact on developing or developed countries and this has serious ramifications for what we are able to do. If we talk about partnering, traditionally our civil society organisations have looked to our international partners for support and so as we see the challenges unfolding in those countries that traditionally have been our donor countries, we then have to ask ourselves, how do we as government and civil society in Barbados and the region address our own problems as assistance from outside of the region becomes more and more difficult,” she said.
She said such circumstances presented pressure on “our existing safety nets” and it was therefore more important now for civil society organisations and government to strengthen their social partnership to achievel national development. (MM)