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MR notes wealth disparity

2013 Nov 12

President Mahinda Rajapaksa says there is a significant wealth disparity within the Commonwealth nations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Business Forum in Colombo today, the President said that the wealth disparity within the Commonwealth nations was a subject that received the attention of the Commonwealth Heads of Government, even as far back as the Singapore CHOGM in 1971.

He recalled that the Singapore Declaration highlighted the need to steer the Commonwealth nations to overcome poverty, ignorance and disease, as well as raise standards of life, in order to achieve an equitable international society.

“Today, we still have to reluctantly admit that the world has not yet been able to find durable solutions to the vexed problem of poverty as highlighted in the past CHOGM Declarations. If at all, the situation seems to have become even more challenging, in the light of the tremendous stresses that the world economy is experiencing,” he said.

The President said that certain short-sighted policies and acute mis-judgments during the recent past have resulted in a gloomy, global economic outlook, leading to the social frameworks of individual countries, being severely stressed and threatened.

He however noted that the growing levels of prosperity in Asia and several other emerging nations have served as a reasonably useful anchor for the sustenance of global economic growth.

“Whenever global tensions escalate due to political and economic disagreements or disputes, among the wealthy and advanced nations, those who suffer most are the developing and emerging nations. The obvious conclusion is that for genuine and credible partnerships to be established for wealth creation, the more advanced nations need to be sensitive to the issues of the lesser developed nations, and must be honestly supportive of promoting trade with emerging nations,” he said.

The President said the only instances where emerging economies have been able to break free from poverty, have been when those countries themselves have done so on their own steam, through the implementation of sustainable and pragmatic economic policies, fit for such countries. (Colombo Gazette)

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