Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding spoke to the General Assembly, calling for the Doha Round of talks on reducing global trade barriers to conclude. The Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) began in the Qatari capital in 2001. The negotiations aim to liberalize trade worldwide, but have been stalled for several years. Prime Minister Golding underlined that existing trade imbalances must be redressed to ensure a sustainable economic recovery.
At this high-level annual debate, Golding stated that “Market forces and competitiveness are indispensable for economic development, but the new millennium cannot be defined by the survival of the fittest. It is common sense that if one part of the world is not able to export more to the rest of the world, it won’t be able to import more from that other part of the world.” He stressed that the Doha negotiations must include a development element to enhance competitiveness and capacity in weak exporting countries, as well as differential treatment adjusted for the varying sizes of countries’ economies, adding that such an approach “offers a win-win situation – more exports from developing countries, more jobs for their people and more demand for imports from other countries.”
He also explained that the financial crisis has exposed weaknesses in the global financial governance systems, underscoring the need for reform of international financial institutions to allow developing nations a greater voice. Golding welcomed the establishment of the Group of 20 (G20) as the “locus of global economic policy-making,” and urged the body to “institute a mechanism to engage the views of the wider developing world.”