Summary: Theresa Mottley was right when she said the Bretton Woods Agreement “no longer serves the purpose it served in the 20th century.” She urged the creation of a global agreement stipulating that loans for development must be at least 30 years in length. She also advocated restructuring the G20 and G7 organizations as long as they exclude 1.5 billion people from the world and lack representation of African origins.
She was correct when she declared that the Bretton Woods Agreement, which gave rise to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “no longer serves the purpose that it served in the 20th century.”
She urged the creation of a global agreement stipulating that loans for development must be at least 30 years in length and cannot be made for a short period.
She gave the example of how the world acknowledged this when it permitted Britain to take part in the refinancing of its World War I bonds, which were only paid eight years ago, 100 years after the war had begun.
Additionally, she claimed that Germany should be permitted to limit its debt repayments to the equivalent of 5% of its exports because the “catastrophe” of war would prevent them from financing reconstruction while paying off debts accrued during the war.
“We are no different; we have obligations related to COVID-19, the environment, and the current battle against inflation and the [supply issue].” She questioned the General Assembly, “Why [must the] developing world find money in 7 to 10 years when others had the privilege of lengthier terms to return their [loans]?”
Losses and harm to
Ms. Mottley also brought up the topic of loss and damage. She applauded Denmark for being the first industrialized country’s central government to suggest a fund for this reason, which would directly aid countries on the front lines of the climate problem.
She said any effort to deny that humans cause the climate issue is an admission that we wish to be complicit in the ongoing loss of life and damage to property that results for those who are its victims.
The Prime Minister urged nations to accept responsibility because nothing would change in the world without it.
She added that breaking pledges would not gain the trust required to motivate us to battle the significant issues of our time. “The commitments of loss and damage are significant if we are to make significant progress in preserving our world,” she said.
She also emphasised that even while small states like Barbados have committed to net zero emissions, the current status of the world, which includes Atlantic hurricanes, the conflict in Ukraine, and a lack of funding, prevents them from stopping their existing access to their natural gas resources.
Fairness and UN reform
The president of Barbados also cited the president of the United States’ remarks from earlier this week and backed a Security Council overhaul.
“We do more than summon an echo for it. We feel that a Security Council with a few people still holding veto power would continue to push us toward conflict, as we have seen this year. Therefore, the reform must also involve eliminating that veto, she added.
Also, Ms Mottley advocated for restructuring the G20 and G7 organisations, saying Barbados “cannot accept” these “informal committees of governance” as long as they exclude 1.5 billion people from the world and lack representation from people of African origin.
She emphasised, “How could it be expected to demonstrate justice and transparency in its decision-making?”
She stated that adopting a transparent framework would enable the people who are losing faith in institutions to realize that justice does matter and go from “possibilities” to “reality.”
Fairness and cohesion are required to achieve peace, love, and prosperity in our world. And this is not romanticism; instead, these are harsh truths that only call for choices, she said.
The Prime Minister concluded that to prevent a rift between the government and the governed, world leaders must engage in adult discourse and talk directly to their constituents rather than depending solely on headlines and soundbites.
“With those commitments, we can make a difference in this world, and let us do so knowing that an imperialistic order, hypocrisy, and lack of transparency will not achieve that mission, but one that gives us freedom, transparency, and a level playing field will allow for a difference,” she said in her conclusion.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network