Astona Browne appointed OECS Commissioner-designate

OECS Commissioner-Designate Mrs. Astona Browne (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 8TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Former Permanent Secretary in the defunct Ministry of National Security, Mrs. Astona Browne has been appointed St. Kitts and Nevis OECS Commissioner-designate and will head up the Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs Unit.

Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty reflecting on the previous Cabinet meeting of Monday August 29 to review a number of critical decisions which had been earlier taken, the creation of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs Unit was discussed.

The Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs Unit will bring a higher level of focus to the concerns and issues affecting members of the Kittitian-Nevisian Diaspora.

These matters will include but are not limited to returning nationals affairs; formalising networks with and among members of the Diaspora to harness the ideas and resources of members of the Diaspora for the economic, social and political development of Kittitians and Nevisians at home and in the Diaspora; and promoting and facilitating business investment by members in the Diaspora.

“This unit has been created in the Office of the Prime Minister to lead on the implementation of a range of initiatives connected with the OECS regional integration movement,” said Mr. Carty.

He said Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas emphasised the importance of getting the local populace fully ready to embrace the opportunities as well as challenges concomitant with further regional integration including the free movement of people through the OECS states and closer political integration.

A major component of the adjustment strategy with respect to the impending closer regional integration is the improvement of international standards so as to equip nationals with a range of widely accredited employment and business development skills.

“This will further ensure that our citizens are not displaced but will be able compete in a variety of occupational fields throughout the region and beyond,” said the Information Minister.

He said the OECS Commissioner-Designate, Mrs Astona Browne, “brings to her new position a formidable background in foreign and international relations and security, and the government reposes enormous confidence in her ability as she assumes this exceptionally important responsibility going forward.”

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