Mia Amor Mottley Calls Gaza “The World’s First Televised Genocide’ And Singles Out Netanyahu.

Image: PMO Barbados on YouTube. Mia Mottley called for an end to war and referenced the current situations in Guyana, Haiti, and Gaza.
- Advertisement -

What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the statement by the Mia Amor Mottley,  Prime Minister of Barbados at the VIIIth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) At Sandals Resort, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – March 1, 2024.

“Thank you very much, my dear brother, friend, and guide for decades. I really want to congratulate you, Ralph, for showing the world that size does not matter. We went to Europe last year, and no one believed that Europe would agree to things that you insisted would be put in the declaration.

“The capacity to recognize that preparatory justice is a conversation that must take place. The ability to allow Europe through the Chancellor, to admit that the production model that saw the extraction of commodities without value being left in these countries needs to come to an end; bringing to an end, four centuries of an exploitative model that has literally decimated the region and the people of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“It is fair to say that anyone who doubted how you did it would have had a reminder today in your speech as to why the spirit of St Vincent and the Spirit of the Caribbean continues to remain indomitable and that we as a region, not just my own country, that asserted this in its first address to the U.N. in 1966, but that we shall be friends of all and satellites of none.

“You have brought pride to the people of the Caribbean civilisation.

“I have every confidence that our sister in Honduras and our brother in Colombia shall continue in the same vein, because, as we were reminded today, our region has worked hard to remain a zone of peace and that we were able, even in the midst of great struggle and difficulty, to have our brothers in Guyana and Venezuela come to Saint Vincent to reach that conclusion.

“Even if in their mutual state of dissatisfaction, they have asserted the value of peace and life. I speak to you, therefore against this background and will try to do so very quickly, because this is a world that continues to be challenged by existential crises. But people want to distract us with geopolitics and national politics. This is a world in which the battles for climate, justice and finance, even though making some progress, are not making sufficient progress with sufficient speed.

“And I hear and I want to thank the secretary general of the United Nations, whose voice has remained unwavering and resolute in providing us with a moral compass, calling for a new social contract and calling for fairness among the world’s countries, such that when Antigua hosts the fourth summit of Small Island Developing States, 30 years after the Barbados program of action, which was the first Small Island Developing States summit, that we believe that even if we are not seeing full success, we are building momentum in being able to reverse centuries of undermining of the voice of small states and indeed of exploited people.

“The issue of climate justice and climate financing, as we have expressed not just in the Bridgetown Initiative, but in all of the other things that we have done is fundamentally about: how can we mitigate; how can we address damage and; how can we adapt. In terms of mitigation, quite simply. We know that methane will cause much greater damage than even carbon dioxide.

“Let us not rely on voluntarism. Let us get a global agreement on methane in order to give ourselves the best chance of staying below 1.5 to stay alive.

“Secondly, with respect to loss and damage, we are grateful for the fact that we have acknowledged and created a fund or about to create a fund because Europe has to agree, finally, to the appointment of its directors and is holding it up.

“But even when we create it, and even though we have had $700 million in pledges, the reality is that we don’t want to rely on loss and damage. We want to avert loss. And therefore, the real battle remains in climate finance, the capitalization of the funds and the budgets to do adaptation.

“It is against that backdrop, therefore, that we continue to ask for a few things.

“One, that either 21 has to be a real, real game changer, but it ought to be accompanied by another Jubilee movement moment for the cancellation of debt of AIDA countries of the world.

“Two, that we need to ensure that middle income countries have access to lower cost debt and longer-term debt.

“We cannot finance schools, adaptation, or hospitals with 15-year debt.We need 30–40-year debt at the very minimum.

“And Europe found a way to accommodate both the United Kingdom as well as Germany in the last century, to recognize that they both need both long term debt and to cap the costs of debt service to a percentage of exports in order to be able to allow Germany to recover after World War II.

“Three that we need to address urgently, and I hope that in Bridgetown 3.0, we can put this forward.

“The real issue of insurance and the lack of insurance is becoming the cause of the implosion of the financial system, that we have to support mortgages and to support expansion of businesses through access to finance. If people cannot get access to insurance, the whole financial system as we know it will start to implode because that is the basis upon which most borrowing and lending takes place in our world.

“We also, therefore, must address very quickly the fact that the world needs an institution to secure the funding of global public goods.

“Whatever else we say, there are five things that will put us on the back foot: the climate crisis with its loss of biodiversity; the issue of pandemics and health care and basic access – how do we avoid and protect ourselves from the next pandemic; the question of basic access to food and water because even though we talk about climate, if people don’t have water and food within a week or two, there is no life; four: the question of access to fairness within the digital framework – you cannot have tech companies with market capitalization in the billions of dollars and people without access to digital, but at the same time, we need a united platform to ensure that artificial intelligence does not become the equivalent of the climate crisis for us as a people.

“And fifthly: we need to make sure that we deal with the consequences of war and fragility.

“There is too much war globally, and the reality is, whether it is Gaza, whether it is Ukraine, whether it is Africa, it must come to an end.

“These wars are man-made and man can therefore negotiate. I believe that a time will come when they will come to an end. The question is at what costs and how many people will die.

“The bottom line is that in our own region, as I said, the example of Venezuela and Guyana, and we pray that that continues to hold, should be a beacon to show the rest of the world that it is possible to come together and address these issues.

“As it relates to Haiti as we speak, Haiti continues to unravel and to face the worst of circumstances. Our heart bleeds for the Haitian people.

“The reality is that the world needs to stop paying lip service, and we cannot only address the issue of the political solution and the security solution, which is uppermost and the immediate humanitarian aid.

“But there must be a commitment at the same time to put at least a 30-year development compact for the people of Haiti to ensure that we are not back here in the near future again.

“As it relates to the Gaza war, this is inexplicable.

“The world’s first televised genocide is uniting the people of the world, even if their governments do not want to be united. And we say simply that Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to be separated from the people of Israel because, as we have seen, they are Israelis who understand that what is happening in the Gaza Strip, in spite of the fact that all that has happened is wrong and disproportionate.

“Mr. Chairman, I ask us, therefore, to speak with one voice on these issues, because governments and democracy will have no moral authority to speak on anything if we continue to watch children and women die. We condemn, of course, what happened to the Israelis from Hamas. But we must now condemn what is happening disproportionately to the people of Gaza.

“I ask simply where do they go next year and the year after? How will they get housing? How will they get food? How will they get water? How will they live without medicine?

“We cannot think therefore, of only today, but indeed of next year and the near future. Mr. Speaker. Mr. Chairman, sorry. As I have said to you, values matter and much of what we are speaking about is an inequitable – President Lula says it will all the time – system that needs to be transformed.

“This is based on man made values and therefore they can be changed equally by man made decisions. You this morning, whether by accident or by Providence, ensured that we listened to the wonderful melody of that third wheel song Try Jah Love.

“And I remind us only as we leave here today that we must be for life and for peace. And in the words of that wonderful song that has inspired so many of us in the Caribbean, the Third World song that you should know that it is time for the world to try jah love. The only love that can bring peace.

“I do not think the choice of that song this morning was by accident, and I hope that it will inspire us to commit to continuing to have the Caribbean and Latin America as a zone of peace. I wish my sister from Honduras all the very best and to simply say that we build coalitions around the world to ensure that we can change how mankind thinks and how mankind acts.

“Let us continue on that road Thank you.”

- Advertisement -