Barbados will speak on global affairs
Barbados will once again take its place and state its position on global issues, ensuring it is part of the decision-making processes that affect the lives of citizens and residents.
This is one of the intentions of the Mia Amor Mottley Administration, as announced by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason in The Throne Speech at the State Opening of Parliament at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Tuesday morning.
“For ten years, Barbados stepped back from our obligations to work assiduously with countries and institutions regionally and globally. Had we acted on these obligations, Barbados would have had a direct influence on the policies, conditionalities and international agreements that affect our world and Barbados’ place in it,” Dame Sandra read from her prepared speech.
“These issues range from the financial services sector and actions to prevent our being blacklisted, to the setting of criteria to assess our efforts to boost security and measures to fight money laundering. It includes what we may be permitted to do with domestic agricultural production and manufacturing, in order to enhance our ability to attain food security. If we are not at the table to represent our views, we will end up with a one size fits all prescription that removes from us the legitimate policy options which are needed to protect Barbados’ people and our economy.”
As a result, Barbados moved to host (the smallest nation to do so) the United Nations Congress on Trade and Development, UNCTAD 15, so it would have a place at the table for itself and CARICOM at a time when COVID-19 is threatening the world’s food supply chain.
Similarly, Prime Minister Mia Mottley will co-chair of the Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with Uruguay’s Minister of Finance, ensuring it has a voice with the international financial institutions and how they treat debt and development of Small Island Developing States.
“In order to realise its domestic objectives of enhanced economic growth and revenue generation, Barbados must pursue increased, strengthened and diversified external engagements which will serve to mitigate the country’s vulnerabilities, build resilience, and maximise opportunities for sustainable development,” Dame Sandra said.
Additionally, Barbados will strengthen its links with the diaspora and Friends of Barbados community through the establishment of a Diaspora Unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Over the last 18 months, the island established diplomatic relations with several countries and plans are in trains for new missions. High Commissions are being set up in Kenya and Ghana, as well as an embassy in the United Arab Emirates and a consulate in Morocco.
Throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Mottley appeared on several networks in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, telling the world about the nation’s efforts to combat the virus and also spoke on a need for global leadership and a change in the way international organisations treated the debt and development of island nations like Barbados. (SAT)