Time for Social Partnership review

New and improved vision needed for Barbados, says Weekes

A United Nations official is calling for the inclusion of non-governmental agencies and community-based organizations to be included in the Social Partnership arrangement.

Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grant Programme (SGP), Lionel Weekes, said it was perhaps time the Social Partnership Agreement was reviewed.

He was speaking at the opening of the GEF SGP United Nation Development Programme grantee project inception workshop at UN House on Monday.

“I myself as a non-repenting disciple of the Social Partnership would like to strongly urge all the partners involved to sit down, to review the vision, to review the mission and ensure that Social Partnership, which has sustained he quality of life in Barbados, and which has promoted its economic and social development continues, but that there is always an opportunity for renewal and for reformation as well,”
he said.

“Respectfully, as a citizen of Barbados I would also like to urge that NGOs and CBOs are included in this partnership. I think that you as organizations have a critical role to play, based on your perspectives and based on the close relationship you have at the community level. If a democracy is to function well we have to ensure that the 280,000 people who live in this country are engaged not every five years, but are engaged on an ongoing basis,” added Weekes.

He said the livelihood of every citizen was “at risk in the current [economic] situation” and should therefore “be given a voice”.

Weekes also called on authorities to make their position clear on the need for funding from more developed countries to fight global warming.

Stating that an international meeting on climate change was to be held later this year, Weekes said: “as NGOs our concern is that Barbados not only go to the meeting and present as it usually does, brilliant speeches . . . but that we have an agenda whereby we determine what we want to get out of the conference”.

“What we want to get out of the conference is technical assistance and a tremendous amount of funding for our activities at the national level and Caribbean level as well. So I sincerely hope those opportunities will be taken,” said Weekes.

He added: “The question is going to be does the pollutant pay. We know that 99.9 per cent of the pollution in the world is caused by the most advanced countries. But the political decisions to be taken would be to what extent will they accept that responsibility and to what extent will they be providing the monies for funding the adaptation mitigation projects that have to be undertaken.”

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