EAMON COURTENAY, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration of Belize, underscored the foundational importance of trust and solidarity to the multilateral system, noting that both values are regrettably “in diminishing supply at a time when the capacity of Planet Earth to sustain human life is in grave peril”. He listed unmet or abandoned global commitments over the years to include the 0.7 per cent of national income for official development assistance (ODA) target agreed in 1970; the COP15 commitment by developed countries of an annual $100 billion commitment for climate action by 2020; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of 2015 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, a failure which saw a subsidy surge to a record $7 trillion last year. Despite calls by the Global North for the respect of human rights, it remains outside the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers, the consequence of which “deaths and inhumane treatment of migrants at the southern borders of the Western world continue with impunity.”
He lamented the “hoarding of COVID-19 vaccines by developed countries and their continuing refusal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines”. This has occasioned extended suffering for developing countries, with some of them still below global vaccine targets. With only 12 per cent of the SDGs on track for attainment, the global human development index has, for the first time, experienced a two-year consecutive downward trend, with poverty and insecurity on the rise. Global average temperatures for the last three months have been the highest on record, with attainment of the below-1.5°C threshold “slipping from our grasp”. To restore trust and foster solidarity, he therefore put forward his Government’s position along three broad areas, which covered the need for urgent reform of the international financial architecture and the Security Council; the imperatives of honouring unmet commitments, particularly concerning the Paris goals and the SDGs; and reparatory justice for slavery in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and climate change for small island developing States.
He also spotlighted certain countries that deserve global attention on their current situations, saying that “too many of our Member States continue to be oppressed by systematic but entirely repairable injustices”. Commending the Kenyan Government for its offer in leading a multinational force for security assistance to Haiti, he pledged his Government’s support, together with other CARICOM countries in joining the mission. The “evil and pernicious” designation of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism by the United States attracts its condemnation, and economic sanctions against the country should be immediately lifted. Belize also supports the “realization of an independent State status for Palestine” and likewise calls for “Taiwan’s full inclusion in the international system”. He also called for ending the Russian Federation’s war in Ukraine.
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