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Belize Foreign Minister, Eamon Courtenay laments dwindling trust among developed nations; Highlights undelivered promises

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2023. 12:23 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: Belize’s Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration Minister, Eamon Courtenay, expressed concern over the eroding trust among developed countries in a speech to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.

Courtenay highlighted unmet promises, with targets dating back to 1970 yet to be fulfilled, resulting in a staggering US$6.5 trillion in undelivered aid to developing nations. The foreign minister pointed out that the commitment made by developed nations during COP 15 to mobilize US$100 billion annually by 2020 for climate action remains unmet. As a result, public climate finance has missed out on US$381.6 billion. Additionally, he mentioned that the vow made in 2015’s Addis Ababa Action Agenda to eradicate fossil fuel subsidies has been wholly neglected.

Despite increasing fossil fuel subsidies that surged to seven trillion US dollars last year, as noted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global commitments seem to be slipping away. Courtenay criticized the Global North’s stance on human rights while failing to participate in the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers, leading to tragic consequences at the western world’s southern borders.

The Minister addressed the global mistrust manifesting in the form of vaccine hoarding by developed countries, with many developing nations still lagging behind vaccination targets. “Mistrust is rampant. Solemn vows are consistently shattered. Global unity is overshadowed by narrow nationalism and seclusion,” remarked Courtenay.

Furthermore, only 12% of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are progressing as planned. The foreign minister also spotlighted the consecutive decline in the Human Development Index for the past two years. He highlighted the rising global temperatures and underscored the G-20 countries’ inadequate measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

In his speech, Courtenay proposed three urgent actions for rebuilding trust and promoting solidarity:

  1. International Financial Architecture Reform: Courtenay stressed the need for alignment between international financial institutions’ objectives and global climate and developmental goals. He emphasized the importance of inclusive decision-making, advocating for a broader governance structure that incorporates developing countries’ perspectives.
  2. Realization of Genuine Commitments: Belize’s proposal demands developed countries fulfill their promises to small island developing states, which have been largely unmet, leading to the current financing gap and hampering progress towards climate and developmental targets.
  3. Reform of the UN Security Council: Citing the Council’s inefficacy as demonstrated by its inaction during the illegal Russian war against Ukraine, Courtenay pressed for urgent reforms and more equitable representation, reflecting modern global dynamics.

Concluding, Courtenay emphasized the dire need for course correction to rejuvenate global trust, solidarity, and collectively steer the planet away from impending climate doom.


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