PM calls for Reduction in Gap between Rich and Poor Nations


Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has stated that every effort must be made through the organisation of international trade to reduce the poverty gap between the world’s richest and poorest nations as failure to do so could hinder lasting peace in the global village. He said globalisation and significant improvements in technology and information flow have resulted in increased inequalities between developed and developing countries, adding that all developing countries wanted was equity and social justice in the international communities to which they belong.
“In terms of international trade every effort has to be made to reduce the poverty gap between rich and poor countries because without that, there can be no lasting peace. People are going to fight for survival. We have to deal with the problem of hunger, disease and ignorance and we have to do it as members of one human race and one human family,” Mr. Patterson stated. The Prime Minister who is on an official visit to South Florida was speaking on Saturday (Oct. 11) at a function held at the African American Research Library and Cultural Centre in Fort Lauderdale.
He said citizens all over the world are of the opinion that the existing channels of participation fall short of their democratic ideals, and are sending signals that there is a need to improve the institutional mechanism of representative democracy. He said it was important for leaders in developed and developing countries to recognize those signals, as national programmes and policies could no longer be fashioned without taking the global situation into consideration.
Mr. Patterson said also that while threats to global peace had manifested themselves on every continent especially in the form of terrorism, care must be taken to ensure that the precepts and principles essential to creating international peace, stability and lasting prosperity among the people of the world are not abandoned in effecting a response to terrorism.
“We cannot abandoned the rule of law whether it be international law hallowed by practice, or laws that are determined by our respective constitutions and that must apply within our domestic borders,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said there could be no talk about democracy in internal states without recognizing the need for democracy in the global community. He said Jamaica’s position on the matter was very clear, having regard to the sovereign right of each country.
“We believe that there must be full and total respect for the sovereign right of each country. Different countries may have different political systems internally, but no country has the right to unilaterally impose a political system on any country without the consent of the people involved or without the authorization of the international community,” Mr. Patterson stated.
He said small countries must therefore support the call for all countries to abide by the principle of multilateralism in the global community.
Mr. Patterson noted that in light of developments in the global economy, the integration of the Caribbean Community was an absolute imperative. He said the countries of the region are moving resolutely with the formation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, adding that the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice was an integral part of the movement towards regionalism.
“You cannot be sovereign when one of your fundamental pillars of sovereignty is still subject to external control,” Mr. Patterson declared.
He said there are matters that have to be addressed locally, including a continuation of the process of economic transformation and the development of a globally competitive productive sector.

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