PM Harris discussed developmental issues with Caribbean leaders

Regional heads of government, academic institutions and regional and international organizations participated in the forum. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris led the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation.

The May 5 to 7 ‘Forum on the Future of the Caribbean’, was the first of its kind in the region that brought together political leaders, academia, private sector leaders, young shapers, civil society and policymakers to “engage in a vigorous debate and discussion” under the theme “Disruptive Thinking…Bold Action…Practical Outcomes”.

Commenting on the significance of the forum Prime Minister Harris said, “The conference has been stimulating and instructive. Many ideas are emerging about how we can better shape policies to advance the region in good governance, trade, health care, education, entrepreneurship, inter alia. While some ideas have not been new, their implementation can certainly advance the cause for betterment of our Caribbean civilization.

Other attendees included Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony of St. Lucia, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) His Excellency Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi. In addition, represented were regional and international institutions and agencies, such as The University of the West Indies, the United Nations, the Commonwealth, CARICOM, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the OECS and several other organizations that teamed up to host the event.

Organizers of the forum recognized that in order to chart a new course for the region, there is pressing need to increase knowledge, skills, attitudes and capabilities of the population, especially the youth, in order to “stimulate innovation, invention, ideas and entrepreneurship.” They are also well aware of the need for political leaders, “with proper vision and the political will to take hard decisions”, to play a critical role in shaping the development path.

While in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Harris held discussions with Japanese and Canadian diplomats, Vice-Chancellor of UWI Hilary Beckles, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Dr. C James Hospedales, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and other high-level dignitaries, business and academia leaders.

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