Mottley calls for trade equity for small states

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has called on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to address inequities in the world trading system that disadvantage small island developing states such as Barbados.

Delivering the inaugural lecture in a WTO series in Geneva today, she said there must be “a strong representative voice that monitors and values the impact of the action of the larger states on international trade and a voice that is prepared to speak up in defence of the international trade system”.

In the lecture entitled “Reinventing the Global Order” which she dedicated to the late Barbadian engineer Dr Hugh Sealy, the Prime Minister again made a case for a more equitable deal for countries such as Barbados and called on the WTO to establish a high level committee to investigate whether the war on money laundering, the war on tax evasion, the climate crisis and other any such “campaigns” by the larger WTO member countries had not “inadvertently become a war on developing country exporters or a war on small island state exporters”.

“The global order is not working,” Mottley charged, adding that greed continued to motivate too many.

“That we are more concerned with generating profits than saving people is perhaps the greatest condemnation that can be made of our people globally.

“We continue to have a world that is segregated regrettably, between those whose came first, in whose image the global order is now set. Regrettably, we are seeing a global order in which we live, that is simply the embalming of the old colonial order that existed at the time of the establishment of these institutions.

“We have therefore to ask ourselves whether we are in a position to deliver on the peace that would permit us all to live in a just and inclusive society in each of our countries, or whether we are in fact creating a world where peace is elusive, both in terms of security, but also peace that comes from economic justice,” Mottley said.

In yet another incisive presentation designed to capture the attention and provoke action on the part of the international community, Mottley rapped the old order of the WTO and said a “transformative agenda” was required.

She told WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria: “If the WTO is to remain faithful to its mandate and to bring prosperity and stability to the people of this world and to ensure that international trade does not have the obstacles that it has now, then your work must be a success buttressed by all of our cooperation by keeping a higher purpose in front of us.

She was given a standing ovation at the end of her presentation. (GC)

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