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Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer. (UN Photo)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Sept. 24, 2013: Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer, used his address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday to slam the United States for its refusal to adhere to the rulings of the World Trade Organization.

Spencer in his address to the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations on September 24th told the body that while his government won their Internet Gambling Case at both the original and appellate levels of the WTO, a decade later, the end is not in sight.

He said the United States has neither removed the offending laws nor agreed on a fair settlement with Antigua and Barbuda that would compensate for the wanton destruction of an entire economic sector.

“We believe that it is a blow to the credibility of the WTO to have the world’s largest economy and the WTO’s most powerful member ignore the lawful award of its dispute settlement tribunal without consequence,” said PM Spencer. “The international trading system will not long survive this profound challenge, and we call on the United States to correct past wrongs and to come to the table with meaningful proposals that can bring this matter to a just conclusion.”

He disclosed that his government now intends, through the only mechanism that the WTO has provided, to seek compensation for the thousands of jobs lost, the companies collapsed, and the general devastation of the second largest sector of our economy after tourism.

Spencer also made the case for small island states, who he said contribute the least to the causes of climate change, yet suffer the most from its effects.
“The responsibility for mitigating climate change is a common responsibility for all nations, be they developed or developing. However, developed countries should shoulder their moral, ethical and historical responsibilities for emitting the levels of anthro-pogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere,” he said.

PM Spencer also met with Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza on September 24th and discussed the preparations for the general elections to be held in the country in March 2014, the “Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas,” produced by the hemispheric Organization under the leadership of the Secretary General, and other issues of cooperation between the OAS and the Caribbean country.

Meanwhile, PM Spencer is set to declare open an exhibition that focuses on an 80-year-old organization this Friday.

The PM will declare open “A Lighthouse in New York” exhibit at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, in Harlem at 6 p.m. on September 27th. The exhibit commemorates 80 years since the founding of the Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society, which has dedicated itself to the principle of cultivating and promoting social and intellectual activities as well as providing charitable assistance to its people – both in New York and on the islands.

It will feature materials from records recently donated to the Schomburg Center, revealing the diverse intersections of immigrant Caribbean life in the 20th century, and the effects these had on immigrants’ political consciousness and sense of identity. It will run through Saturday, January 4, 2014.

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