in Paris, France
Pace and scope.
That is how Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley described the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact which started this morning in Paris.
“There has been movement,” she said to approximately 50 world leaders and representatives of about 100 countries here for the two-day summit.
“Nine months ago people were not talking about natural clauses. Nine months ago one was talking about multilateral bank reform at scale. Nine months ago we were not prepared to discuss debt,” Mottley said.
She was referring to natural clauses that Barbados is now negotiating into its debt agreements. In the event of an emergency, it allows the country to postpone payments for two years and place those at the end of the instrument, with a guarantee they will be repaid.
These are part of the Bridgetown Initiative touted by Mottley at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 last year, which seeks to build a new financial model for developing and at-risk countries, particularly vulnerable to climate change.
The Prime Minister told participants what was required was not to “simply mark a card for progress”, but transformation was critical going forward.
“We have come to Paris with a heavy heart, but with hope,” Mottley said, stressing the common humanity countries shared to save the planet.
She said there was no need for words, but time for action.
Mottley told world leaders that as she addressed them, Barbados was under a Tropical Storm watch.
“I had to decide if to stay (in Paris) or go,” stating she decided to stay because she believed it was important to move to action.
In her address, Mottley thanked her French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron of France for hosting the gathering of world leaders, which she described as the “how dare you Summit”.
“How dare you upset the order? How dare you step out of the crease to summon us all . . . ”
The Prime Minister urged colleagues and representatives of financial institutions, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to recognise that poverty and climate could not be separated, nor could education from poverty.
“Don’t leave Paris without understanding there must be transformation, not reform,” she told delegates.
“Step up the pace and let’s get going.”
Macron welcomed leaders to the summit while Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Gueterres, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Vanessa Nakate, also spoke during the session. (CM)