The time has come to review skewed development classifications so as to redress economic misrepresentations that are negatively affecting our countries’ access to technical assistance and resources towards achieving effective sustainability.
This draws from discussions with members of civil society, development agencies, trade and international and foreign representatives on the disadvantageous position placed on small island states like Trinidad and Tobago by its economic categorisation as middle income on an equal footing with other larger world economies.
UNESCO - with its work on the ground with marginalised communities and to identify intangible value that are generally unfactored and accounted for in development statistics - is well-positioned to begin directly redefining and redressing this.
We are promoting a resolution requesting targeted strategic actions and aligned budget and funding plan for small islands that also request revisiting development classifications, which has received widespread support from among Executive Board delegations UNESCO.
Ill-informed data on an unequal playing field has misdirected policies, decision making, budgets and allocation of resources that entrench ill advised economic and consumption habits, practices of power and influence that have contributed to the spiral of poverty, inequalities and underdevelopment and the unfulfilled dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals.
We challenge any representation as helpless and needy that deny our rich resource of talents and people who function against tremendous odds to survive high handed, high powered, hand me down directives and policies, institutional constipation, historically entrenched status quos that handicap our ability to carve our societies in our own image and create the World We Want.
We commend UNESCO’s successful efforts in framing the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly for its pivotal role in shaping the goals on education, oceans, clean water, science, technology and innovation, culture as a driver and enabler of development, information as a right and key to transparent governance; and transformational powers of advancing the status of women and girls.
We are convinced that the new Sustainable Development Goals offer opportunities to re-set the clock; to revise the failing approaches that have seen such tremendous gaps in achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. We believe that the roadmap to implementation of the new goals offer us all an opportunity to re-create development and its approaches and perspectives into the image of the World We Want to combat persistent poverty and inequalities..
We congratulate the Director General for her prompt response to a request for the return of the Young Professionals programme through which, she expressed the hope that many skilled and talented youths explore career options in UNESCO.
Dr Kris Rampersad is the Trinidad and Tobago Representative on the UNESCO Executive Board and an independent media, cultural and literary consultant/facilitator. She is the UNESCO-trained cultural development educator/facilitator in safeguarding heritage in the English-speaking Caribbean and has served as an independent member of UNESCO’s international intergovernmental committee that reviewed applications for its lists on Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Full address to UNESCO Executive Board 197th Session coming soon.
See also http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Time-to-review-skewed-economic-classifications,-Trinidad-representative-tells-UNESCO-27906.htmlCaption: Trinidad and Tobago Representative, Dr Kris Rampersad, addressing the 197th session of the UNESCO Executive Board currently in session in Paris.