JIS News

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, has stated that although the current economic and ecological crises were created by developed countries, it is developing countries which will suffer most from the effects.
“The developing world has contributed little to the generation of this economic crisis, but the developing world is going to suffer the most. The same thing applies to the ecological crisis, global warming and climate change, caused mostly by the developed world,” he said.
Dr. Baugh was addressing a Town Hall Meeting of Jamaican/Canadians at the Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, Canada, on Monday, March 23.
He predicted that, although the economic crisis is more susceptible to therapy than the ecological crisis, the developing countries will be hardest hit because they cannot offer stimulus packages like developed countries.
“We now have to insist that the developed world recognise the plight of the developing world, and insist that the developed world fulfill its commitment to the developing world and that part of the stimulus package, as proposed by the World Bank, is directed to assistance in the developing countries,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that Jamaica is trying to mitigate the effects of the crisis, by pursuing alternatives such as looking at other markets, like China, and increased co-operation with Canada and the United States.
“We have to realise that we cannot take part in trading agreements, unless we build the capacity to produce in our own country. We cannot be passive, as we have been in the past, and think it is okay to export our primary products and raw materials. We have to be determined to add value to all our products and materials, and export the finished goods to Canada, the United States and other developed countries,” he argued.
Minister Baugh said Jamaica has been resilient so far, but the economic crunch is going to hurt and the country cannot survive it alone.
“We have to survive it in partnership with our Caricom partners and in this hemisphere, with Canada and the United States. We need technologies to be transferred to our countries so that in the chain of production, different countries can make different inputs into those chains.”
Turning to the issue of climate change, Minister Baugh said it is already affecting developing countries more than the developed ones, as could be seen in the increased number and intensity of hurricanes in the Caribbean each year.
“The hurricanes that we used to see probably once every 10 years or so, in the last 10 years, we are seeing them almost every year. If we don’t get a direct hit from a hurricane, we are still going to suffer from heavy rains, floods and mudslides, and Jamaica’s banana industry has been severely affected,” he pointed out.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations’ Convention on Climate Change have developed certain criteria, and set in motion a strategy to control global warming, and they have put demands on developed countries to undertake reduction of the emissions.
Although developed countries can buy carbon credits from developing countries, Dr. Baugh insisted that the purchase of the carbon credits should not free the industrialised countries from the need to reduce carbon emissions.
“The most disconcerting news I’ve received, is that this global warming is even worse than it has been predicted or anticipated,” he remarked.
Dr. Baugh was on an official visit to Canada to have discussions with Government officials, and meet with Jamaican communities in Ottawa and Toronto. He was accompanied by Director of Bilateral Relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ambassador Paul Harker, and Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye.

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