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Latest Commentaries

A new commentary has been posted.  It is entitled: China casts a long shadow over Japan-CARICOM talks.  It argues that considerations of China's role in the Caribbean's development and its current situation of animosity with Japan will affect the discussions between Japan and CARICOM countries although it will not be mentioned officially.  In the event, the talks with the Japanese Premier present an opportunity to lay out the challenges CARICOM economies face by the the onerous policies of international institutions in which Japan has a strong voice.

 Japanese Prime Minister, the Mexican President and their wives at the start of a five nation tour of Latin America and the Caribbean by the Japnese Premier  

The previous commentary is: The New Bank of the BRICS; what's in it for small econmomies?  The Commentary welomes the New Development Bank launched by the BRICS but argues that while this development might rattle the IMF and World Bank, it would serve only the interests of the BRICs unless they create mechanisms for opening up to other develping countries on terms they can afford and lending by the institution provides facilities to them on less onerous terms than the Washington-based financial institutions.  Small states in particular could be left out in the cold.  

The leaders of the BRICS launching the New Development Bank in Brazil in July 2014.

The Previous commentary is: Why join the Commonwealth.  It argues that far from having no role, the 53-nation Commonwealth is today more needed than it has been since its heyday of fighting for an end to racism in Southern Africa, the independence of Zimbabwe under majority rule, the freeing of Nelson Mandela and the ending of apartheid. It is up to its leadership to make it relevant again; the potential and space for a role certainly exists.

 

The flags of the 53 Commonwealth of Nations

 

Latest Interviews with, and quotes of, Sir Ronald

The Latin American Advisor, based in Washington, through its publication Inter-American Dialogue, posed the following question to Sir Ronald Sanders on Thursday, July 17th 2014.

FEATURED Q&A
How Successfully Is Caricom Addressing Caribbean Issues?
Q   Outgoing Caribbean Community Chairman Ralph Gonsalves on July 1 opened the 35th annual summit of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, with calls for unity among the members to address issues affecting the region including climate change, economic and immigration issues, all of which will be addressed inthe group's strategic plan for the next five years. Gonsalves also called for deepening integration and a single market as the keys to regional development. How successful has Caricom been at addressing the region's most pressing issues? What are the biggest challenges facing the Caribbean, and does Caricom's strategic plan propose the right measures?
A.   Sir Ronald Sanders, consultant and former Caribbean diplomat:
"Caricom is a collective of its governments. It can only address the region's most pressing issues if all governments are willing to move in unison. The most pressing common issue is unemployment. The second (except for Trinidad and Tobago) is the high cost of energy. Many countries also have high debt, growing fiscal deficits, no access to large sums required for financing infrastructure, including alternative energy projects, or to low-cost borrowing from international financial institutions.
Deepening integration and a single market can contribute greatly to improving the region's current situation and its prospects, especially through production integration by the private sector and collaborative approaches by governments to debt forgiveness and rescheduling and raising money for jointly owned projects.
The strategic plan proposes desirable measures, but the absence of detail of how they are meant to address the most pressing problems, the machinery by which this will be done, and how the measures will be implemented does not permit meaningful analysis or conclusions. The secretariat is strapped for cash as are many of the governments, a few of which are struggling monthly to pay wages, service debt and provide basic goods and services.
It is difficult to see how the plan will be funded unless there is committed financing from external agencies on a predictable basis, but such agencies will want a legally binding plan with legally empowered machinery for implementation and governance. Caricom is not there yet, although an agreed strategic plan is, at least, an important step."

 

Jamaica Gleaner Quote

Sir Ronald's comments about the relative place of the US and China in Caribbean considerations was quoted by a columnist in the Jamaica Gleaner on Sunday 27 April 2014.  See URL below:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140427/cleisure/cleisure4.html

 

A previous interview with Sir Ronald Sanders was conducted by the IPS news service.  Along with others Sir Ronald discusses the dangers posed to Caribbean states by sea level rise.  Click on URL below:

http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/saving-caribbean-tourism-sea/