Dec 4, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Commonwealth’s rich nations take heat for failing to help small states

Rich and influential Commonwealth countries – including the UK, Canada and Australia – have been taken to court for failing to help low-income and small member states in their hour of need at the height of the global pandemic.

< p>They are also members of the elite G7 or G20 in Australia’s case, while at the other end of the spectrum the Commonwealth has 13 least developed countries and 32 small states.

The Commonwealth is said to have an important ‘collective voice ‘ and a vehicle to potentially influence global positions, but influential and wealthy members remain lukewarm and pursue national interests to the detriment of the majority of club members, who happen to be developing countries.

Read You:Is Commonwealth membership still relevant for countries today?

Voiceless members

“There is undoubtedly value in a Commonwealth advocate ing and consensus-building role. The global stage is crowded, and voice and influence are in high demand. However, it is crucial that the voice and advocacy of the Commonwealth bring real value: it must be able to recognize and respond to the differences between members, and be assertive on behalf of the majority of non-voting Commonwealth members in forums such as by the Bretton Woods institutions G20 and G7,” said Ransford Smith, former deputy general secretary of the Commonwealth leaders to work together at the meeting to address the common crises many countries are facing, such as the impact of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and climate change and the rising cost of living.”

But at Commonwealth Business Forum on the same tag whose theme is “A Global Reset: Leveraging the Commonwealth fo r a Global Recovery” read, a panel of experts pointed to the lack of solidarity in addressing global issues facing developing countries.

There is a need to address the underlying causes unequal among Commonwealth members persists as rich countries continue to trade and have done little to support developing countries still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The conversation on inequality in the Commonwealth was started by President Paul Kagame , who new leader of the bloc, who in his speech urged leaders to tackle inequality.

“We always have to make sure that when we talk about the Commonwealth we really mean the Commonwealth. Not only that some of the many 54 countries are “common”.

“That’s why I said it’s still a work in progress. We have to keep reaching out to each other and figuring out what we can do to strike that balance enough that everyone in the Commonwealth, the family of nations, feels a part of it, no one is left behind…” the President said. calls for more efforts to ensure that small developing countries are not left behind within the Commonwealth.”

One panel expressed concerns about the lack of solidarity despite shared crises.

And, while the As the coronavirus pandemic recedes, there are concerns about a global rise in fuel prices, the cost of living and food insecurity, linked in part to the war in Ukraine. This comes on top of the existing challenges of climate change and debt sustainability in developing countries.

Donald Kaberuka, Managing Partner of SouthBridge and former President of the African Development Bank, outlined the current response to the crises by the international community, including within the Commonwealth, was “inadequate” as the Global South remains marginalized, citing limited access to Covid-19 vaccines in the developing world.

“We should start thinking about the crisis we are living through as the new normal. There are many more crises to come… and each time the response between the Global North and South has been uneven. I’m not blaming the Global North, I’m just saying what happened…” Mr Kaberuka said, citing the support Ukraine has received, including the EU’s recent $9 billion financial package with favorable payment terms 10-year grace period, and 25-year grace period.