CARICOM States recording regression in social development goals: St. Lucia

Ambassador Donatus St. Aimee, St. Lucia's representative

NARRATOR:  CARICOM Member States, like much of the rest of the world, are all recording regression in social development goals.

That's what St. Lucia's representative Ambassador Donatus St. Aimee told the General Assembly's committee that deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs during its discussion on social development.

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) he noted that from hunger and health, education and employment, poverty and social integration they all fell victim to these turbulent and trying times. He noted that unemployment is on the rise and Member States are plagued with very vulnerable employment conditions, explaining that the loss of jobs and subsequent lost wages not only impact household income but it increases risks in states without comprehensive social protection.

TAPE: The global economic downturn has impacted negatively on social outcomes for individuals, families, communities and societies in member states, who have recorded real links between poverty and unemployment to crime and gender-based violence and substance abuse. It is all too real to members of the Caribbean Community that during times of crisis – financial and economic – families tend to implement coping strategies such as making changes to their household budgets, shifting funds which impact negatively on education, health and nutrition, which can lead to lasting deficiencies for the children affected and thus perpetuate the cycle of poverty. CARICOM governments have become keenly aware of the social implications of their economic policies. We work to soften the effects that our economic policies have on social development, to avoid that disconnect which can perpetuate a cycle of retarded growth and limited social progress. This is an excruciating challenge as governments operate in this unfavourable global economic environment.

NARRATOR: Ambassador St.Aimee stressed that in the Caribbean Community, families and the community are recognized as the driving force of development and continue to pursue family-oriented social policies at the national level.

He said the upcoming 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, coming on the eve of the target year of the Millennium Development Goals, offers an opportunity to add a family focus to the development efforts with the goal of strengthening them as agents of development for the benefit of the whole society.

He added that CARICOM committed itself to supporting the objectives of the International Year of the Family and its follow up processes.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’22″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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