“We strongly urge the international community to assist with the financial support needed by developing countries, including middle-income countries like Trinidad and Tobago, to meet their development commitments.”
That was the plea made Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, during his virtual address to the United Nations Assembly on Saturday.
He told the United Nations that despite the middle and upper-income status of regional economies like TT, there is a strong case for some countries to be considered for debt relief.
He said small nations like TT, as well as larger nations, anticipate and depend “on us all sharing and caring for each other.”
“The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), has cautioned that a debt crisis is looming for the economies of the Latin American and Caribbean sub-region, which will compound their high debt to GDP and debt service ratios. Despite the middle and upper-income status of many economies in the region, a strong case exists that these countries are deserving of special consideration for debt relief. We strongly urge the international community to assist with the financial support needed by developing countries, including middle-income countries like TT, to meet their development commitments.”
Rowley said it is time to allow the Caribbean island to meet its development commitments.
“As we begin the decade of action and delivery to implement the sustainable development goals it is important to ensure that no country is left behind. It is on this note that we maintain that the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba, undermines the country’s potential to achieve sustainable development.”
He added: “To this end, TT reiterates its call for the unconditional lifting of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba. We have noted that despite the blockade, the Government of Cuba has demonstrated the true spirit of multilateralism by providing health care personnel to assist countries in different regions of the world in their fight against covid19. We commend and thank the Government and People of Cuba for this humanitarian gesture.”
Rowley made the call after telling the gathering: “Alarmingly, the pandemic has intensified the vulnerabilities of small economies and has rendered us more susceptible to exogenous shocks. Further, covid19 has threatened to reverse the gains, which our societies have achieved towards attaining our sustainable development goal targets.”
He also called on the UN to support Caricom initiatives for the “resumption of normalcy in our Caribbean shores” with continued dialogue with Venezuela.
World leaders have been addressing the UN assembly virtually or via pre-recorded videos due to the covid19 pandemic.