Prime Minister Mia Mottley used the first European Union (EU)-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit in eight years to continue her global call for an overhaul of the international finance structure.
Making the plea on Tuesday on the final day of the two-day meeting in Brussels, Belgium, she said international financial institutions need to be reformed to allow developing nations the opportunity to put better climate mitigation measures in place and reduce poverty.
“An imperialistic framework for the structure of international organisations is not going to bring about the solutions in a moral and strategic way necessary to save the planet. The reform of our international financial institutions is critical if our countries are able to summon not just the will but the capacity to be able to prepare themselves to become more resilient. But yet we use all metrics such as debt per capita that are designed to be able to bring people back into poverty,” Mottley said.
“We need a framework that literally acknowledges that those countries on debt row need the ability to breathe and need to have their debt forgiven and/or restructured. We also need a framework that recognises that poor people do not only live in low-income countries, they live in middle-income countries. Unless we want to see the pauperisation of middle-income countries again, then we need to acknowledge the vulnerability that has been wrought on middle-income countries by reason of the climate crisis and by reason of the [COVID-19] pandemic, and indeed the inflationary pressures occasioned by the Russian/Ukraine war.”
The Prime Minister said that if changes were not made promptly, many states would be destabilised.
“Unless we reform the institutions that are responsible for funding, one, the climate crisis; two, preparation for the pandemic; three, the consequences of war and fragility; and, may I add, four, food and water insecurity; and five, digital divide, we are not going to be able to stabilise the global community and to be able to stabilise the planet.
“Something is fundamentally wrong with the global decision-making processes that do not allow us to make decisions and act with dispatch, and our people, therefore, are losing the trust in the established institutions . . . . A philosophy that sees might still, a philosophy that sees power still, a philosophy that sees capital only without seeing people and migrants will continue to lead to this kind of distrust that our people are feeling . . . . If we leave the issues of the past unresolved, we will not be able to come together in unity to solve the problems of the future,” the Barbadian leader warned. (SZB)