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Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Burchell Whiteman, has said that Jamaica and the Caribbean must be part of the solution to the global economic downturn.
“New economic arrangements to lift us out of the world recession must speak to the condition of countries like ours in the Caribbean. Trade and investment cannot be limited to activity among the most developed nations. The indigent at the doorstep is a challenge to the conscience, the security and the sustained prosperity of the owner of the mansion,” High Commissioner Whiteman said.
The High Commissioner was speaking last week, at a One World Conference, hosted by the University of Portsmouth Students Union.
“In the present global economic and financial environment, we and countries in the Caribbean have to be recognised, not only as a part of the victim community, as small states, particularly small island states, but also a serious contributor to solutions. For what works for us is likely to work for others like us, representing the large constituency of developing nations,” Mr. Whiteman said.
He argued that the Caribbean could make a real and meaningful contribution to the world, and Caribbean people have far more to contribute to the progress of the world than for what they have been given credit.
“Our culture, which is a unique blend of the many influences which have fashioned us – historical, geographical, contemporary – largely African and European, but so much more besides, makes us a people, difficult to ignore. What is often not recognised, because of the image of being a happy, laid back set, is that we have an enormous capacity for innovation and hard work, unbeatable qualities in the modern economy and certainly in times of recession,” the High Commissioner said.
Mr. Whiteman said that to plan around or on behalf of developing countries, instead of planning with them, is to deny the principle of equal opportunity, respect and understanding.

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