By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
ALGIERS, Algeria -- At the just concluded 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) foreign ministers meeting in Algeria, Suriname urged member states to re-examine the Millennium Development Goals to include prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, human rights, especially as it relates to women and girls, and climate change.
Suriname’s ambassador to the United Nations, Henry MacDonald
Suriname’s ambassador to the United Nations, Henry MacDonald, who represented Paramaribo at the Algiers summit, said, “Non communicable diseases have become a major cause of death in low and middle income countries, including those in the Caribbean region, leading to decreased productivity.”
MacDonald told the gathering that it is incumbent upon them, as developing countries, to reverse the omission made in the Millennium Development Goals and ensure that the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases is adequately addressed in the context of the post-2015 development agenda and that ongoing and new global health challenges should be addressed in a sustained and equitable manner.
Suriname took note of progress made with regard to gender equity and the empowerment of women but noted that “challenges remain for millions of women and girls.”
MacDonald was fervent in his call for developing countries to do more to address gender equality and, in particular, the blatant human rights abuse and marginalization of women and girls.
MacDonald said, “In some parts of the world girls face considerable obstacles to get an education, women and girls still face the horrendous acts of violence, including sexual violence and trafficking and in many countries of the world women remain underrepresented in political life. The international community has a duty to ensure that the other half of humanity is equipped and not hampered to realize their fullest potential.”
The Dutch-speaking Republic of Suriname is below sea level and is vulnerable to climate change. Suriname is the world’s number one green country, meaning that it tops the world as the most forested country.
“It is therefore of paramount importance that the developed countries takes the lead in addressing the impacts of climate change in accordance with the UNFCCC principles and provisions,” says MacDonald.
Suriname said that the United Nations Post 2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals should address in a balanced way the connection between economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development.