Castries, Saint Lucia, September 27, 2021: St. Lucia is calling for adoption of a Global Vulnerability Index by international institutions to guarantee developing countries and small Island Developing States (SIDS) access to concessional development financing.
The call was made by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Development and The Youth Economy, Philip J. Pierre, as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly over the weekend.
In his inaugural UN address Saturday (September 25) Pierre called for the new global index to include variables such as: “Vulnerability to adverse weather systems and natural disasters, historical disadvantages arising out of plunder, colonialism and exploitation and the vagaries of the economic activities upon which such states depend for survival.”
He said it also ensure that “access to concessional development finance is granted based on criteria that consider the true contexts of our fragile economies, which are constantly under threat of regression, due to natural, man-made or political disasters.”
The Saint Lucia PM also called for immediate measures “to safeguard the Solvency” of SIDS — which have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic.
“These measures,” he said, “must include debt restructuring and write-off, support to strengthen health systems, more equitable distribution and access to vaccines and assistance for recovery that meets the demands of the development model adopted in the beneficiary country and is consistent with our current socio-economic environment.”
Prime Minister Pierre also called for abolition of outdated criteria used to qualify SIDS for development assistance.
He said, “Saint Lucia stands in solidarity with all SIDS in calling for an abolition of current classical economics criteria for accessing concessional development finance.”
These indicators, he posited, “erroneously paint a picture of ‘national prosperity’ that lies in stark contrast to existing realities.”