While reflecting on his recent discussions in Cuba, for the Second Annual Meeting of CELAC, Dr. Douglas stressed the importance of small states like his, to continue to have concessional funding, which he sees as a moral imperative because of our vulnerability to natural disasters. It is because such risks, said intimated the prime minister, why St. Kitts and Nevis and others in the Caribbean, still need to have access to low interest funding which remains essential if they are to bounce back from the usual damages caused by hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and other disasters.
Douglas told listeners to his weekly radio program on Tuesday that he used the large gathering of Heads of Government from across Latin America and the Caribbean, to continue to plug for the smaller states in the region. He said it was imperative that the concerns of such nations be clearly articulated if they are to survive in this harsh global environment. He said that he had every reason to believe that his pleas will produce the desired results.
The meeting in Havana was convened partly to address pressing matters that the heads deemed to be important to the region and the world. The significance of the summit which ran from 27th – 29th January, 2014, was underscored by the fact that in addition to all the hemispheric heads being there, they were joined by the Secretaries General of the United Nations and Organization of American States, OAS. All Caribbean leaders were also in attendance and the only Latin American state not represented by its president was Panama.
CELAC is said to have been initiated by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.
Douglas said Chavez was driven by a desire to help alleviate poverty in his own country and to bring relief in the form of affordable energy to nations throughout the Caribbean and communities across the United States. The organization was established in 2011.