Browne reproaches developed countries over financing

(File photo)


Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne electrified a gathering of representatives of international agencies and governments in Washington DC on Saturday by reproaching developed states for undermining the development of small states by the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a Small States Forum organised by the World Bank as part of the week of meetings of the Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr Browne told the Forum. “it is unconscionable that developed states, which control the international payment system, have increased the vulnerability of small states by creating artificial impediments that undermine our development”.

Speaking in the context of the decimation of several Caribbean countries by Category 5 Hurricanes in September and the reversal of years of economic development, the Antigua and Barbuda leader declared that “Correspondent Banking is a global public good and should be available to all countries and all regions”.   Stating that banking relations “is a fundamental human right that is just as important as the provision of other basic services such as water, electricity and broadband services”, Mr Browne told the high-level audience that “the socio-economic impact of de-risking is more severe than any hurricane”.   He added that “de-risking is not only an existential threat but one of the most egregious acts committed against small states”.


The Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister’s statement received strong support from the leaders of other small states in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as representatives of international agencies.

“We are being de-banked from the international payment system”, he declared, adding that “the provision of correspondent banking service cannot be seen exclusively through the lens of risk and profitability”.

Urged by several delegations to the Forum to propose a machinery for tackling the situation in a global way, Prime Minister Browne recommend the establishment of a “high-level working group on De-risking and Developmental Funding for Small Island States”.

He said the work of the group should be focussed on: achieving highly concessional terms for small states to build capacity; gaining access to funding to finance adaptation and mitigation to the dangerous effects of Climate Change; quick response to crises through immediate availability of funding; as well as mobilisation of funding for private sector entrepreneurial development and economic diversification.”

At the invitation of World Bank President, Mr Jim Yong Kim, who chaired a high-level ministerial meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Browne will submit his proposals to the Bank for consideration of new ways to tackle financing in the context of the effects of Climate Change and global warming.

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  1. When these small states look to China and Russia for banking relationships, these same Western institutions will raise all kinds of hell. And that day isn’t far away as those two plot to kill the petrodollar and the Swift code clearance system.

  2. My problem is :
    Electrified :
    Banking relations a fundamental human right ?
    Up there w/electricity and Broad Band Services !
    Let me get this straight you want the money at a low or no interest rate
    And you might pay it back When ?

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