Friday, March 1, 2024

McClean: Our national posts not for sale

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BARBADOS’ Minister of Foreign Affairs has made it clear that this island’s national positions are not up for sale, and it does not practise dollar diplomacy.
Senator Maxine McClean made the point yesterday as the Senate started debate on the 2014-2015 Appropriation Bill which  ncludes Government’s Estimates Of Revenue And Expenditure for the new financial year.
Leading debate in the pre-lunch session, the minister said diplomats and officials who engaged the island’s officials in the international arena knew that the country’s national position on issues was not based on material gain.
“Whether it is bilaterally or multilaterally, we tend to do so with a high level of integrity. I have heard the word used in other arenas – not relating to Barbados – about some people engaging in what some people call dollar diplomacy. We don’t do that.
“We seek to take positions, and it dates back to the first Prime Minister of this country [Errol Barrow] when he said that we are friends of all and satellites of none,” McClean told the Upper Chamber.
“We are not one to seek to get material advantage from taking certain positions. We seek when we take a position to take it from a level of integrity.”
McClean, who is Leader of Government Business in the Senate, argued, too, that despite the island’s difficult economic position, and the “preachers of doom and gloom”, Barbados had still maintained outstandingly high rankings in a number of key areas that had been assessed by international organisations.
Citing a document prepared by Invest Barbados, she named a number of key indicators that showed Barbados’ continued high global and regional rankings.
(GE)

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