Clint Chan Tack
UNIVERSITY of the West Indies Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hilary Beckles, has called on the Organization of American States (OAS) for co-ordinated, organised global investment in the Caribbean.
In a statement, UWI said Beckles made this call on Wednesday during an open dialogue with OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.
Beckles said despite the fact that the Caribbean has always stood on its own feet, a combination of events including public health, chronic diseases and climate change has devastated the region in the last ten to 15 years.
“The Caribbean has given a great deal to this hemisphere and the world and it is now time for this to be reciprocated to give Caribbean what it deserves and what it has a right to—which is an economic leg up at a moment of growing despair.”
In outlining the Caribbean’s current extreme vulnerability, Sir Hilary stressed the need for discussion and strategy development “for a special carve-out to get to global competitiveness.”
In response, Almagro said, ” Our main recommendations include a call to the world’s most developed countries for debt relief for the region through grants and low cost loans; increased resources from Inter-American organisations to assist with extraordinary commitments and related political expenses, financial support to transform to digital economies and develop a resilient infrastructure facility to exploit the blue economy; funding for strategic regional maritime space security as well as institutional capacity and strengthening under the Caricom regional security management framework and establishment of a Caribbean recovery fund for rapid response in the case of natural disasters and proactive planning to minimise damage.”