Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Partnerships vital for development

AT this time when other areas around the globe are being faced with significant challenges and crises, the Secretary General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) sees it as imperative to highlight and extend gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for once again partnering to develop the region.

During her presentation at the Letter of Agreement Signing Ceremony held at the UN House last Friday to officially mark the partnership between CBU and UNDP to produce the Youth-INSPIRE television series, Sonia Gill, reminded: “We really see it important that we recognise that our Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and even our continental states are extremely vulnerable to all kinds of issues, and even though in the development indices we maybe seen as middle income and getting ahead, we still are at high risks of a number of issues.

Signing the official Letter of Agreement at the ceremony last
Friday were (from left) UN Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP
Resident Representative, Stephen O’Malley; President of the
Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), Shida Bolai; and
CBU Secretary General, Sonia Gill.
“So it is really important for us to keep hold of these issues and make sure that initiatives such as these are well supported, and that all the partners such as CBU coming together with the UNDP recognise the ultimate goal.

“The CBU thanks the UNDP for its continued commitment to the region,” she stressed.

Furthermore, she stated, “Caribbean nations are fulfilling their independent promise and achieving results on the various development indicators. They are becoming less of a focus for developing partners like the UN, especially when we are compared to crisis situations facing other regions in the world, so it is particularly important that development concerns of the middle-income countries do not be glossed over by simple assessments of averages.”

Affirming that “…the gains made in many core sectors of the health and education are under attack from the global financial crises”, Gill urged that, “Development, of course, must be sustained if those gains are to be maintained.”

Speaking on some of the issues which the six- to eight-episode season will showcase, Gill said that working in tandem with the UNDP, regional concerns about security, crime and violence would be addressed.

Even though the impact of the problem of crime and violence is not the same everywhere in the region, Gill asserted, “The primary economic sectors in the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable even if there are low rates of insecurity.”

She noted, “National and international visitors alike are not going to risk vacationing in the Caribbean if there is a perception of robbery and sexual rape. Domestic and foreign businesses are unlikely to invest in countries where on top of the normal cost of operating, they have the added cost of security.”

And she reiterated, therefore, that going forward with plans to commence one season of the series in June this year, it is imperative for the CBU to have “this kind of partnership which targets a common problem of the 22 countries and territories from which the CBU’s Full and Associate members are drawn”. (KG)

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