Talk of economic recovery can be best described as premature: Guyana's President Ramotar

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Donald Ramotar

The persistent adverse state of the world economy remains a matter of global concern, and demands that the United Nations address itself to the challenges.

That's what Guyana's President Donald Ramotar told the Summit segment of High-Level Thematic debate on the State of the World Economy Thursday at UN Headquarters in New York.

President Ramotar said that 'outworking' the crisis is still a work in progress and he warned that the danger of significant reversals is ever present.

Donald Ramotar:  Indeed, talk of recovery can at best be described as premature. Even if there are some signs of renewed growth, this growth can hardly be regarded as deeply entrenched and is still extremely uneven. Several of the major contributors to global output continue to place a drag on global growth, and are themselves grappling with unsustainable fiscal balances, which hinder their ability to implement adequately the measures needed to stimulate a lasting recovery. The challenges in the Eurozone, faltering growth in the US economy, and a slowdown in growth in major emerging economies are indicative of the fundamental problems that still exist at the global level.

NAR: According to President Ramotar, the inherent fragilities that facilitated the global financial and economic crises have not been adequately addressed; developing countries have borne and continue to bear a high cost for a crisis not of their own making.

And he warned that the current state of the global economy suggests significant vulnerabilities that make a recurrence a continuing risk.

Donald Ramotar: From the standpoint of developing countries, this entails addressing the fundamental impacts of the crisis on their development prospects, and on achievement of internationally-agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Progress towards the MDGs was already slow prior to the crisis, and will inevitably be further slowed as a result of the crisis and a combination of other concurrent challenges. Increased poverty and hunger have ensued: over 1 billion people now face hunger on a daily basis; and poverty eradication gains have been eroded. The rise again in food prices, unless contained, could further aggravate the poverty challenge and have a devastating impact on poorer economies.

NAR: Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community, President Ramotar explained that the CARICOM reality reflects a number of pathologies: slow growth; high unemployment, particularly among youth; high levels of indebtedness and limited policy space for transformative action; depressed tourism receipts; and external threats to legitimate engagement by some member States in the financial services sector.

Donald Ramotar: Middle income status, viewed through the prism of GDP per capita, has become an albatross, belying the real challenges faced by our countries and constraining access to much needed resources. Crime and violence are the worst manifestations of the challenges faced in our societies. CARICOM economies have been significantly impacted, particularly in the services and financial sectors, given our heavy dependence on services and on trade with and tourism flows from North America and Europe. Contracting demand in those countries resulted in a virtual collapse in tourism and in the prices for many of our exports. This situation, coupled with unfair regulatory action against the financial services sector, has caused major economic dislocation in a region with limited scope for diversification. Just as the Caribbean made no contribution to the financial crisis but faces major economic devastation as a result, in the same way, our countries face potential decimation by a climate crisis caused by others.

NAR: President Ramotar stressed that Rio+20 would be an important opportunity for forging a comprehensive response to the challenges of sustainable development, expressing the hope that the international community would grasp that opportunity.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 4’42″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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