MAXINE MCCLEAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, said the theme of this year’s General Assembly was timely and permitted examination of complex issues facing the global community. The Millennium Development Goals represented a common vision of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world, in which all people could enjoy better and safer lives. However, progress towards the Goals remained mixed. Success was still within reach, but was by no means certain, so last week’s unprecedented consensus to revitalize the Goals must be converted immediately into collective action. The display of global solidarity in the face of unparalleled economic uncertainty reminded all that the United Nations was an indispensable instrument for the world’s people.
Saying that the world was more interconnected yet more deeply divided than ever, he stressed that an enhanced system of world governance must be at the top of the global agenda. Security Council reform must be finalized at this session. To retain its unique legitimacy, the Council must adhere to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and efficiency, while improving outreach to non-members. Due to geopolitical realities, permanent and non-permanent Council seats should be increased, with Brazil, Germany, India and Japan joining the ranks of permanent members, as well as assured membership from the African Group.
Institutions responsible for global, economic and financial governance should be reformed immediately, equipped to address challenges of a globalized and highly interdependent world, he said. Barbados recognized the important role played by the G-20 in stabilizing the global economy, but the Group must significantly enhance outreach to non-members, particularly small members of the international community, whose economic viability was under discussion. The G-20 must also break the impasse in the World Trade Organization for successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round and accelerate reforms in Bretton Woods institutions. Small States like Barbados had traditionally played a crucial role in shaping global governance, and their voice should not be diminished in efforts to reform the current system.
He said his country, as a natural resources-poor small island developing State, had played its part in the United Nations vision of the world, mainly by investing in education and health. Barbados also aimed to craft its own green economy to achieve sustainable development. It believed its experience would serve as a useful model for other small States.