Prime Minister Douglas heads Federal delegation to CARICOM Inter-Sessional

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas

ST. KITTS, MARCH 11TH 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is leading the Federal delegation to the 21st Inter-Sessional Meeting of Caribbean Heads of Government in Dominica.

Dr. Douglas is accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Astona Browne and Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Nyian Farrell.

The issue is expected to dominate discussions with the President of the World Bank, Mr. Robert Zoellick, along with the President of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who have been specially invited to take part in the Roseau deliberations.

Amid the ongoing global economic and financial crisis that has adversely affected the entire 15-nation grouping, CARICOM Secretary General Mr. Edwin Carrington is hopeful that the talks will result in the identification of new and viable approaches to the treatment of economic matters, including the crippling debt burden being carried by those member states, which do not now qualify for concessionary debt reduction following their graduation from middle income status.

The status of implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is also among the main items on the Dominica agenda, as well as CARICOM’s continued support to Haiti that was devastated by a powerful earthquake on January 12, killing more than 300,000 people and leaving more than one million others homeless.

Haiti’s President His Excellency Rene Preval, who met with United States President Hon. Barack Obama in Washington on Wednesday, is expected to join in those discussions on Friday.

The leaders will also zero in on the negotiations for a CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement; the status of implementation of the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement and the renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act.

Consideration will also be given to climate change in the context of the region’s follow-up action to the Copenhagen Summit held last December, as well as preparations for upcoming summits, including a CARICOM-Brazil Summit in April.

However, at least five leaders are expected to miss out on the deliberations, namely the Prime Ministers of Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as the President of Suriname and the Chief Minister of Montserrat even though no official reason has yet been given for their absence.

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