CARICOM can count on Mexico at G20
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday May 23, 2012 – Mexican President Felipe Calderon has pledged to support calls by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for reform of the international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, when Mexico hosts the G20 Summit on June 18 and 19.
The Mexican president confirmed this commitment to leaders of the 15-nation regional bloc when he met with them at the second CARICOM-Mexico Summit at the Barbados Hilton on Monday.
“The Caribbean nations can count on Mexico as a friend and partner who will represent them actively and proudly in the G20 because we are also, and I will underscore this, a part of the Caribbean region,” Calderon told the region’s leaders.
Stating that it was significant that Mexico, a developing nation, currently holds the presidency of the G20, he said his country has an ambitious agenda for development and stressed that it intends to incorporate the opinions of all countries on the agenda but, in particular, developing nations such as CARICOM member states.
“For us it is very important that the perspectives of other developing countries be heard on the issue of moving forward on the world economic issues. The problems experienced by many countries in the Caribbean region, the fact that they are vulnerable nations that face problems, and the fact that they are being classified as middle-income nations results in an unfair treatment for many nations, and that is why I would like to assure you, my dear friends, that Mexico will do its best to have the ideas and proposals of CARICOM member states to be considered at the next meeting of the leaders of the G20,” the president said.
Stressing that a range of developmental issues will be discussed, Calderon continued: “We have included more subjects on development than any other summit. We have also introduced topics on the agenda of the development for poor countries, the new financial engineering of international financial institutions that need to be restructured, but we have also emphasised and included, as the chair of the G20, the need to deal with the issue of financial institutions for the world’s poorest families who today do not have bank accounts or the possibility of saving or having access to loans and credit.
“We have also included topics that have to deal with economic balances amongst nations; we have also included food security because we know that the poorest people in the world, millions of who are in our countries, are suffering because of the price of foodstuffs for years now,” he added.
President Calderon was responding to host Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s call for Mexico to use its influence as chair of the G20, which controls 80 per cent of world trade, to represent the interests of the Caribbean and other small island developing states.
“At this uncertain juncture of world affairs, perhaps the greatest contribution Mexico can make to the cause of Caribbean development is that of advocacy,” Stuart said.
The Barbados prime minister also indicated that CARICOM was concerned about the “slow and uneven” pace of reform of the multilateral financial institutions and the “continued lack of representativeness and transparency of the G20”.
“As the Commonwealth secretary general has recently said, (the G20) may represent 90 per cent of global GDP (gross domestic product) but certainly not 90 per cent of the world’s countries,” he said.
The prime minister also noted: “The worrying signs that we have moved from the rich man’s club of the G7 to the big man’s club of the G20, whose members are more united in telling non-G20 countries what they should do than in prescribing to those within their own fold; the constant tilting of the playing field and moving the goal posts in the G20’s response toward Caribbean-based international financial centres, notwithstanding the fact that the bulk of proven money laundering, inadequate regulation and tax avoidance has occurred in the financial centres of Europe and the United States.”
Mexico will host the G20 summit from June 18-19 at the town of Los Cabos on the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.