Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Faith Innerarity, has appealed to the United Nations, to re-examine its assistance protocol to member states deemed most vulnerable as a result of the global financial crisis.
She said that within the context of the current global crisis, and the challenges to social development, expenditure on essential human capital and protection of the vulnerable, should be enhanced and not compromised.
Mrs. Innerarity was addressing a panel discussion on the impact of the global crisis on social development, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City last week.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the internationally agreed Social Development Goals of Copenhagen, and the Millennium Development Goals, were in jeopardy due to the dependence of small developing states on a robust global economy.
“Job losses in the industrial countries of the north will impact tourism and remittances in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean as well, as holidays are not an option for the unemployed,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Innerarity told delegates that while the developed economies were busy at this time drafting stimulus packages, the Government of Jamaica had already identified a number of initiatives in response to the crisis.
These, she said, included efforts to increase local food production, greater emphasis on training and increased access to jobs, expansion of the social assistance programme, tax incentives for the productive sector, and special credit options for small and medium-sized businesses.
The panel discussion was one of several meetings on the agenda of the 47th session of the UN Commission for Social Development (UNCSD) held at the UN headquarters in New York City from February 4-13.
As the only Caribbean member of the UNCSD, Jamaica’s presentation was on behalf of the region.
Delegates attending the session also agreed by acclamation, to February 20, 2009 being observed worldwide as ‘World Day of Social Justice,’ to bring to the attention of the world community, the growing problems of poverty, people living with disabilities, disaffected youth, the elderly, abused women and other minorities.