NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday called for fair play and equitable treatment in the global financial arena when he addressed a virtual UN Meeting of Heads of State and Government on “Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond”.
“On a matter of great importance to The Bahamas, adverse pronouncements by larger economies pertaining to offshore international financial centers, especially against those in small developing countries, further exacerbate economic challenges,” Minnis said.
“Once again, we ask for the support of the United Nations, the relevant international financial institutions and like-minded countries to assist us in our call for fair play and equitable treatment in the global financial arena.
“As we navigate these tumultuous times, I implore, my colleague heads of state and government, to commit unreservedly the political will and steadfastness to work with the United Nations toward the creation of policy frameworks aimed at a more resilient and sustainable recovery of global economies.”
The prime minister asked for the support of the United Nations, the relevant international financial institutions, and like-minded countries to assist in The Bahamas’ call for fair play.
The meeting was convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Prime Minister of Canada H.E. Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister of Jamaica H.E. Andrew Holness on Tuesday 29 September as part of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Minnis noted that financing for development was of critical importance before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Such funding now assumes even greater priority as we witness economies large and small, spiraling with uncertainty, operating in constant flux, experiencing fiscal shocks and attaining adverse projections from international financial institutions,” he said.
“This crisis has exposed and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and inequalities in all countries.”
The prime minister noted with appreciation the coordinated effort of the global community to abate the debt burden of small nations and other vulnerable economies.
He said the best long-term assistance that the United Nations can provide for its membership is to serve as interlocutor and supreme advocate for its membership in fora where the majority is not represented.
“I commend the United Nations and its various agencies and entitles, for the immediate action taken to assist Member States at the beginning of the crisis, through a range of measures as the Resilience and Recovery Fund and the solidarity flights,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
“These UN initiatives must continue as well as the UN’s outreach to the more economically resourced Member States to request their enhanced support of these activities.”
Minnis said that notwithstanding the noble efforts by the UN, funding and assistance of this nature remain largely unavailable to countries such as The Bahamas, because of perceived wealth that is measured by inadequate and improper tools.
He noted that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals seek to leave no one behind, and so should financing for development.
“The world needs affordable development finance now, where no country is left behind,” said the Prime Minister.
“World peace and economic stability requires stability in each and every country.”