By Nelson A. King
Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has appealed to the developed world to do more to help developing countries.
In addressing the special session of the U.N. General Assembly on the follow-up to the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 on Monday, Mitchell said while he shared “the urgency of the findings of the review,” which show that, despite significant gains in poverty reduction and economic growth since the International Conference on Population and Development, “many have been left behind.”
The prime minister lamented that the findings lack “fulfillment of basic needs, meaningful work, access to social protection, or public services in health or education,” adding that “there are still significant barriers for many people to enjoy their human rights.”
Mitchell said these issues, as well as the conclusion that the current state of income and wealth inequality is unsustainable, and threatens future economic growth, the cohesion and security of societies, and the capacity of people to adapt and innovate in response to changing environmental conditions, are “relevant to the discussions that will take place during the Climate Summit” on Tuesday and the General Assembly Debate that follows.
Mitchell said he noted that the report addresses in a “comprehensive manner” ways to enhance individual capabilities and resilience and ensure sustainable development, and that he was “pleased to see that human rights and equality define the analytical approach to the report.”
But he said while he shared the conclusion of the report that investing in individual human rights, capabilities and dignity is the foundation of sustainable development, “the focus on increasing wealth and income inequalities; unfulfilled gender equality and empowerment of women; the need for lifelong learning and building human capabilities especially for young people; addressing the inequalities in access to sexual and reproductive health services, including through strengthening health systems both in rural and urban areas, have significant implications for development policy.”
Similarly, he said “increasingly diverse household structures and living arrangements require us to plan and build sustainable cities and strengthen urban-rural linkages.”
The Grenada prime minister also said the impact of population dynamics on the micro and macro levels “requires the integration of population dynamics into development planning at the national, regional and
“We agree that the development challenges we face require systematic participation of all stakeholders in crafting responses to these challenges, which require partnership and global leadership through the U.N.,” he said.
“We are fully committed to the further implementation of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development taking into account the outcome of our regional review and the findings and recommendations of the ICPD beyond 2014 review,” he added, calling or the inclusion of the findings and recommendations of the Secretary-General’s report and the regional review outcomes in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
“My country is proud to join the international community in reaffirming support for the historic ICPD Program of Action as well as for the transformational vision presented in the report of the Secretary-General,” Mitchell said.