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Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn has put forward several recommendations to delegates attending the 35th General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS), that were necessary for the strengthening of democracies.
Addressing delegates at the Plenary Session yesterday (June 6), at the Broward Convention Centre in Fort Lauderdale, Senator Franklyn recommended that OAS member countries should recommit themselves to the principle of multilateralism, simultaneously using the established institutions to promote peace and harmony and try to resolve differences.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Delivering the Benefits of Democracy’, the State Minister also urged member nations to strive to eradicate poverty, and to identify and isolate terrorism and corruption.
He emphasized that globalization and liberalization must assume a human face as States have a moral and political duty to ensure that the effects of globilization enhanced, rather than curtailed, democratic growth.
Senator Franklyn said there were global developments that ran counter to the notion of democracy, despite global and general improvements in the international democratic architecture.
Outlining these developments the Minister said that “multilateralism is, at best, under siege as the superiority of might has demonstrated its capacity to assert itself over the principle of what is right”. Some regional institutions, he continued, have not been consistent in applying their Charter, particularly as it relates to transition in the leadership of governments.
Commenting on the international trade agenda, Mr. Franklyn said it was heavily weighted against the developing states, and suggested the need for special and differential treatment for less developed countries.
He pointed to disparity among nations, particularly in Africa and South America, as the poverty gap widened, and indicated that data since 2004 had shown that the gap had grown 52 times as compared to 37 times in 1997.
The State Minister also addressed the subject of transnational crime, acts of corruption and terrorism, noting that they threatened democracy everywhere. “Organised crime is now perceived to be a significant problem for investment, migration of skilled persons, public security and even the sovereignty of some countries,” he pointed out.
He urged his fellow delegates to find the best method of inclusivity, where people could be involved in decision-making principles, “as we move towards finding the best way to help improve the quality of life for our people”.
The three-day conference was officially opened on Sunday (June 5), by the United States Secretary of State, Dr. Condeleezza Rice, who outlined the benefits of democracy.
President of the United States, George Bush also addressed delegates on June 6, reiterating that there were common interests among the United States and the region. He also said that the United States had an obligation to assist nations in the region.