Fri | Sep 24, 2021

Jamaica not begging for pity

Published:Thursday | July 16, 2015 | 11:15 AM


I write in reference to Michael Dingwall's letter of July 15, 2015 titled, 'Government should be ashamed of beggar posture'. The letter made further reference to Dr Peter Phillips' participation in the 3rd International Conference for Finance and Development in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, and the designation of middle-income countries that are denied debt relief in spite of their vulnerabilities.

The writer seems to have taken issue with Dr Phillips' appeal to the conference for fairness on behalf of small-island developing states, like Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, for special considerations because of peculiar circumstances. As the United Nations (UN) prepares for the ratification of the new sustainable development goals to be agreed on in September 2015, Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean will be asked to mobilise resources sufficient to meet their commitment to these new and emerging development realities.


It is not a matter of asking the world or anyone to take pity on us and reward us with handouts, as Dingwall seems to be suggesting. Our history is replete with instances of exploitation and injustices, which, if chronicled here, would perhaps fill the pages of your newspaper. However, the undeniable reality is that globalisation has affected Jamaica and this region severely.

The 2008 economic meltdown has had an impact on all of us, with disastrous consequences, and would have retarded our effort to achieve the objectives of the original Millennium Development Goals. The developed economies were able to recover much quicker than Jamaica and the other small-island developing states of the Caribbean.

We cannot hide the fact that in the present situation with our economy already burdened with debt, the resources to implement the new global mandate would further exacerbate our fragility. Therefore, it is entirely prudent that Dr Phillips draw the world's attention to this reality. We are not begging for pity; instead, we are highlighting the challenges we face as a small-island developing state.