JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has stated that the quest for sustainable economic growth that favours job creation, poverty reduction and the promotion of peace and stability in the Americas could only be achieved through a long-term commitment to cooperation and hemispheric partnership. He said that this hemispheric partnership must be one that facilitates better access to markets, increased capital flows and more favourable terms for the transfer of technology.
Mr. Patterson was speaking in Mar del Plata, Argentina on Saturday (Nov. 5) at the Fourth Summit of the Americas which is being held under the theme ‘Creating Jobs to Fight Poverty and Strengthen Democratic Governance.’
He said international trade and the successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round are crucial to treating with the issue of creating jobs to fight poverty and should include the reduction of tariffs and other barriers on agricultural and industrial exports. He said hemispheric leaders should evaluate the prospects for the Free Trade Area of the Americas given the difficulties that have arisen, adding that the issue of special measures for small economies should remain paramount.
“We need to seriously evaluate the prospects for the FTAA process which was launched at the very first of our Summits, given the obvious difficulties which have since arisen. In all of this, the issue of special measures for small economies will remain paramount”, Mr. Patterson stated.
The Prime Minster said unemployment and global poverty remain among the major challenges at this time, noting that this was exacerbated by the frequency of natural disasters from which no country, developing or developed, had been spared. “We have been subject to recurring cycles of destruction and recovery, nullifying the gains of existing development,” he said.
Mr. Patterson said the summit process would be judged on the concrete and tangible benefits provided for the peoples of the hemisphere and therefore urged that the Fourth Summit be used to re-establish hemispheric priorities and ensure that the international financial and multilateral institutions accept the basis on which the work would be carried forward. He said considerable funding could be found for the development process if less was spent on weapons that endanger the lives of citizens and threaten social order, adding that if these resources were applied to the development agenda, the world would be a safer place.
“Certainly if these resources were channeled to the development agenda the world would not only be more prosperous but more secure,” the Prime Minister asserted.