By Kim Ramsay-Moore
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — A senior government official has called for a reassessment of Barbados’ eligibility to receive development assistance, while contending that aid from the international community should be based on criteria that reflect a country’s vulnerabilities.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Charles Burnett, made this assertion recently, at a reception to commemorate United Nations Day and in honour of the representatives of the United Nations Sub-regional Team for Barbados and the OECS. He was speaking on behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.
Burnett added that it was of some concern that this country had been prevented from accessing much needed development financing, due to the World Bank’s per capita income classification.
"We, therefore, reiterate our call for developing countries like Barbados to be provided with the development assistance needed to address our social and economic challenges," he stressed.
In response to the call from the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to "do more," the permanent secretary pointed out that Barbados had been responding to the call for action for some time now.
"For example, Barbados has taken broad, cross-cutting and far reaching measures to create a Green Economy as part of our goal of achieving sustainable development… At the heart of our economic and social model is Barbados’ commitment to people centered development.
"This commitment has propelled us to build on existing initiatives in the areas of resource efficiency and the promotion of sustainable consumption and production in order to transition to a green economy," he explained.
With regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), Burnett said that this country, through the adoption of strategies such as universal primary health care and compulsory education, had been able to create MDG-plus targets in several sectors.
"It is Barbados’ intention to continue to respond to global challenges in a manner which enables us to maximise our investment in human development," he added.
Burnett also issued a call for development partners to "do more" with respect to MDG 8, which speaks to the creation of global partnerships to facilitate growth.
He stated, "Barbados has consistently expressed the view that the MDGs will only be achieved if the eighth goal of a global partnership for development is fully addressed…In our view the successful implementation of this eighth goal is, in many respects, a prerequisite for the comprehensive attainment of the other seven goals".
Development partners were further encouraged to "do more" to assist in the management of climate change, an area which the permanent secretary identified as one of the greatest threats to the survival and the viability of Barbados and other small island developing states.