A release from government announced on Monday, (5th September), that Mrs. Browne has been given a new appointment, as the St. Kitts & Nevis OECS Commissioner-Designate.
As part of her duties she will oversee the Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs Unit.
The Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs Unit, was created through a number of critical decisions in a previous Cabinet meeting, held on Monday August 29 2011, said the release.
“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 the Minister of information, Mr. Nigel Carty.
The Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs Unit, was created to introduce a higher level of focus to the concerns and issues affecting members of the Kittitian-Nevisian Diaspora.
Some of the concerns and issues affecting members of the Kittitian- Nevisian Diaspora are; 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.
He said Prime Minister Dr. Denzil 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.
Mr. Carty added that, 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.