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Prime Minister attends successful meetings in the UK and Abuja, Nigeria

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Contact: Virnet St. Omer-Fontenelle

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony is back from two separate trips which took him to the United Kingdom and Africa.

The United Kingdom trip was at the invitation of British Prime Minister Tony Blair who invited a number of CARICOM Heads of Government to meet with him to discuss among other issues that of trade, crime and security.

Dr. Anthony in a press conference following his return says discussions on crime and security focussed on Britain playing a greater role in the regions efforts to combat crime.

He says regional heads emphasised to the British Prime Minister “the need to play a more active role in strengthening the capabilities of the Regional Security System RSS.”

Dr. Anthony says gang warfare was tearing islands of the region apart and expressed the desire for the British to export some of it’s expertise in dealing with gang warfare to cause St. Lucia and the rest of the region to have the no how to deal with the gangs in a firm and decisive manner.

Dr. Anthony also announced plans for an expert team to visit the region to assist in the strengthening of intelligence gathering in the Caribbean.

On the trade front Dr. Anthony says the challenges facing small islands particularly the Windward Islands banana producers came in for attention. He says representation was made on behalf of Dominica highlighting how the island’s turn to the International Monetary Fund IMP is a perfect example of the “dramatic consequences” of the World Trade Organisation WTO decision on the banana industry.

In Africa Dr. Anthony joined other Heads of Government at the Commonwealth meeting in Abuja Nigeria.  Dr. Anthony says while the meeting focussed on Zimbabwe there was constructive discussion on other issues.

Dr. Anthony says there is the continued commitment by the Commonwealth to lend technical support to countries making application to the body for help. Dr. Anthony expressed pleasure at the re-election of Don McKinnon as Secretary General of the Commonwealth. He says over the years Secretary General McKinnon has demonstrated a keen interest in the development of small states like St. Lucia, constantly referring to regional Heads in particular himself for dialogue on issues of importance to Commonwealth countries.


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