JIS News

Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies Sir Shridath has stated that Jamaica’s pursuit of growth and development must be seen in the economic context of globalization in which multinational corporations were increasingly dictating the nature and direction of the global economy.
He was speaking on Tuesday (Jan. 24) at a panel discussion organized by the Cabinet Office to explore the topic: Jamaica in the International Arena: Leader or Follower.
The former Secretary General of the Commonwealth also asserted that nationalism in a globalised world was an ‘ogre’ which all countries must guard against, noting that it was responsible for many of the challenges faced by the developing world as it relates to the stance taken by some nations on critical issues including the Kyoto Protocol and farm subsidies in the WTO trade negotiations.
It is against this background that Sir Shridath has argued that where global governance does not provide the legal and regulatory framework in which globalization may evolve, “the battle against excesses will be left to be fought out in the streets of the marketplace.” He said that with multilateralism in retreat, the world could find itself dealing with the concept of global capture by various entities including dominant economies.
Sir Shridath said there were threatening clouds on the economic horizon and that it was in international trade that the dangers were most intense. He noted however that Jamaica had already shown outstanding leadership in its understanding of the challenges posed by globalization, given its role in the United Nations, the Commonwealth the G-77 and China and CARICOM.
He said the role of leader for a small country was not an easy one, especially where the powerful have become intolerant of criticism and dissent. He said however that Jamaica should not abandon its leadership role as, to do so would only facilitate the ‘capture’ by global forces.
“Better that it should sustain the courage it has always shown and build on the political and diplomatic roles it has played in the past,” he stated.
Sir Shridath concluded that Jamaica should seek to institutionalize its capacity for international engagement that has won the country respect in the past and would ensure its place in the globalised world in the future.