Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has called on the United Nations (UN) to pursue new relationships modelled after the principles of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez?s Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). At the time PM Spencer was speaking yesterday at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Spencer said ALBA had the model principles that should be sought as future relations among member states were developed, especially in ongoing attempts to respond to the devastating economic crisis.
?As we actively pursue the creation of new structures and strategies, Antigua & Barbuda encourages the community of nations to explore alternative models such as that represented by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas,? Spencer said.
Among the attractive tenets, Spencer added, were ALBA?s stress on relationships that lean toward ?complementarily as an alternative to competition; solidarity as opposed to domination; co-operation as a replacement for exploitation; and respect for sovereignty rather than corporate rule.?
Spencer said he and other Caricom leaders were happy to see that lending organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already gotten the message. He explained that he and his counterparts within the region welcomed the fact that the IMF, which has been vilified for creating hardships by forcing borrowing members to implement harsh measures as a condition for assistance, has abandoned its stringent requirements for more relaxed ones.
Spencer however told the General Assembly that the changes have so far fallen short of the turnaround needed in the relationship between wealthy and poor states. In particular, Spencer said, ?Mr President, decision making on issues of international financial governance remains a privilege of the few, when such decisions have great impact on the lives, livelihood, and basic well-being of millions of people the world over.?
Spencer impressed upon the UN that the economic crisis started in the capitals of the developed world, and added that since its effects were global, the response must ?be truly global.?
He then called on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to be inclusive in its approach to tax issues and more equitable when considering small jurisdictions.