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Prime Minister Bruce Golding has warned that some countries within the region are in danger of being left behind because they do not have the capacity to take advantages of globalization and he has called on the Organisation of American States (OAS) to take a careful look at how best it can assist in rectifying this situation.
Prime Minister Golding was delivering his maiden address to the 32-member of Permanent Council of the OAS this morning (Sept 30) at its headquarters in the US capital, Washington DC. He said that the hemispheric body could put more emphasis on helping Member States with more technical assistance for institutional capacity-building, “so that we can become competitors in the new global race.”
Mr. Golding made reference to the Economic Partnership Agreement which he said, while not being a perfect agreement, offered significant opportunities. At the same time, he said there were challenges as to whether the region has the ability to seize the opportunities it offers.
“One of the challenges we face in exploiting opportunities, not just in the EPA, but the broader framework of globalization, is that we lack the capacity to penetrate the markets and to take advantage of these opportunities in terms of human resources, education and training’, Mr. Golding said . He called on the OAS to focus on how the organisation can help each member state to achieve the targets to provide the framework,’ one that is not intimidating to investment and one that is facilitative rather than obstructive’.
‘We cannot abide indefinitely where we as members of the OAS find ourselves in a situation in which we are unequally yoked. The OAS mandate cannot sit comfortably with a situation where within our 32 countries, there are such deep pockets of poverty co-existing, with such towering images of prosperity. The OAS cannot be a sorting house where we matriculate countries into new exclusive clubs. The intention must be that we reduce as much as possible, the imbalances that exist and provide a better quality of life so that the region, the Americas as a whole, can become a central example of collective, collaborative action to ensure prosperity for everyone’, he said.
He said Jamaica will continue to participate and to contribute to the efforts of the OAS in order to transform the dreams and hopes of our people.
In his welcoming address to the session, Secretary General of the OAS, Jos