BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER the Hon. Mark Brantley has taken over Chairmanship of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC); an appointment he will hold for the next two years.
At the 26th Session of the CDCC held today (Apr. 22) at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, the Chairman’s baton was passed on by Under-Secretary for Ministerial Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, Ambassador Sheila Sealy-Monteith, who expressed confidence in the Federal Government to work with ECLAC to achieve initiatives that were agreed upon during the two-day meeting.
“As we pass the baton over to St. Kitts and Nevis, we have no doubt that they will provide strong leadership over the next two years. We are confident that in chairing the CDCC the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will draw from the expertise of ECLAC sub-regional office in Port of Spain.”
The Under-Secretary reminded Brantley that the path ahead would undoubtedly be challenging, but the local Minister assured her that it would be a path to progress and prosperity.
Brandy has taken over the helm of the body at a critical juncture as the region is facing high debt and climate change challenges.
During the meeting, a roundtable discussion was held at the same venue where member countries of the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) discussed and drafted proposals on how best they can deal with the rising debts faced by states of the Commission.
Speaking with SKNVibes, Brantley said his goals for the tenure at the helm of the CDCC include the implementation of all proposals agreed upon at the ECLAC meeting to tackle the debt currently faced by Small Island Developing States in the region.
“Well, if we can get this particular agenda item settled and persuade the international community, I think it gives us another string to our bow. Small Island Developing States and small countries generally all have a similar story, and here in St. Kitts and Nevis we know that debt was one of the major problems, a major political issue, a major issue for us as a people and our developmental agenda.”
The Minister opined that if he could get those mechanisms to become standard for the region, then it could provide relief to member states.
“Other than that we have the work schedule of the CDCC, which has already been mapped out, and it is just a continuum...of course. As you know, the chairmanship rotates on a country basis in alphabetical order and I am privileged to serve,” Brantley said.