CARICOM and Australia strengthen ties
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Irwin LaRocque has lauded Australia for the role played in building human and institutional capacities in the region.
The Secretary General made the remarks as he accepted Letters of Credence from new Australian Ambassador to CARICOM, John Pilbeam here on Wednesday.
He also thanked Australia for its support of the Community's response to climate change, and advocacy on the international stage on political and economic issues.
LaRocque, however, urged Australia's advocacy on the issue of graduation of small middle income countries from access to concessional funding, noting that for small states to truly benefit from global arrangements for sustainable growth and development such as the 2030 Development Agenda, the Financing for Development outcomes, and the COP 21 commitments; access to development funding was necessary to bolster develop-ment efforts.
MORE REALISTIC MEASURE
"CARICOM is painfully aware of the OECD and some development partners' policy on graduation of small middle income countries from access to such funding. GDP alone does not adequately reflect a country's level of development, in particular among SIDS. Criteria such as vulnerability which is inherent among SIDS, must also be taken into account in order to facilitate a more realistic measure.
"Already countries in Australia's own neighbourhood such as Japan are embracing this reality. It would be a meaningful and substantial gesture if Australia were to adopt a similar position.