Prime Minister Skerrit highlights the challenges Dominica faces in this New World Order
Roseau, Dominica – November 14, 2008…….. In his address to the Nation at the Parade of Uniformed Groups on Independence Day, November 3rd 2008, Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit stated that due to the major changes that have taken place in the world’s political and economic architecture in the last thirty years, changes are needed to respond to the challenges of the modern era.
“We now need to reenergise and rework the ideas and ideals of those early pioneers (Mr. Patrick John and Miss. Mary Eugenia Charles) to meet the new challenges that we face. In that changed environment, this New World Order, we must be clear about the harsh realities in which we are forced to survive,” the Prime Minister said.
The Dominican leader underscored some of the challenges that Dominica faces in this new dispensation:
Ø Dominica is a small island state demanding presence in a very troubled international climate. It is a world that in the past few weeks has seen a financial crisis spread across the money markets of the globe threatening to damage the economies of every nation including Dominica
Ø Funds which were one available for foreign investment in states like Dominica are now limited or no longer available. Opportunities for international trade for our agricultural products have been severely curtailed and the cost of the most basic food items has risen significantly
Ø Developing countries like Dominica have fallen victim to multinationals as a result of changes in international consumption and supply over which Dominica has no control
Ø The cost of imported fuel to power our development is fluctuating with unprecedented speed. These are affected by global conditions totally beyond our control
Ø In this period of climate change, Dominica is now more vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters than ever before. Dominica lies in the path of devastating hurricanes and has become increasingly vulnerable to earth movement because of the fact that the island is located on the edge of one of the volatile pates of the earth’s crust
Given the new global realities which are now unfolding, Prime Minister Skerrit stated his Government has had to adapt and adjust.
“With the advent of the New World Order, your Government has realised that as a small nation state we could not remain static while the international arena shifted around us. We had to branch out and engage with the newly emerging powers of the world and those within our region. Given our size and location, we have had to be astute and pragmatic in our foreign affairs. The Cold War is long over and we must make no apologies to anyone for the friends that we make and the countries that we engage with,” Prime Minister Skerrit emphasised.
Hon. Skerrit noted that on the attainment of political independence thirty years ago, Venezuela was the first country to establish a Permanent Mission in Dominica. The Prime Minister said further that he was undaunted by criticisms of Dominica’s relationship with the Venezuelan President, Mr. Hugo Chavez and for Dominica’s involvement with the PetroCaribe initiative and its membership of ALBA.
“But we will not be swayed, for this is a perfect example of the bold initiatives that are required and which we must continue to take if we are to survive……,” Hon. Skerrit
The Dominican leader also highlighted the significant contribution of the Republic of Cuba to Dominica’s development and reiterated his Government’s unswerving commitment to the One-China Policy.