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Regional States should be compensated for brain drain says CARICOM S.G.

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, June 20, 2002 - Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Dr. Edwin Carrington has espoused the view that a serious case exists for CARICOM member states to be compensated for the loss of skilled professionals from the regionís work force in the face of major national recruitment drives by developed countries.

Dr. Carrington, in addressing Ministers of Government and a list of dignitaries who met in Ottawa, for Canada Day celebrations earlier this week, said the compensation package should come in the form of capital grant resources that would enable regional states to train replacements. The seriousness of the matter he says was highlighted in the view of some in the region, that the matter should be considered by the G-8 countries, given the significant number of skilled personnel currently being recruited from CARICOMís already human resource-depleted societies.

He suggested that this was yet another area where Canada and CARICOM could build on their long history of co-operation to their mutual benefit. ďWithin the G-8 forum, which Canada currently chairs, it can, in keeping with its understanding of the Caribbean Community, put forward CARICOMís concerns in this regard in the hope that they be factored into that Groupís consideration,Ē said Carrington.

The other critical area of co-operation according to CARICOMís point man related to Haiti, one of two major French-speaking communities in the Western Hemisphere. Dr. Carrington told Canadian officials that CARICOM looked forward to their countryís support for Haiti in its social, economic and political development efforts.

He urged Canada to use its influence in regard to the G-8 to galvanize support for Haiti, allowing it to gain access to funds Ė some of which have already been approved, and is so desperately needed - from the international community.


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