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Social Partners Join PM At Caricom Summit

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - In keeping with an established tradition, representatives of the Social Partners in Saint Lucia are part of this country’s delegation to the CARICOM Heads of Government Summit currently taking place in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony is leading the island’s delegation, which includes External Affairs Minister Senator Petrus Compton and Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Mr. Anthony Severin.

But also on the delegation are representatives of the Private Sector and the Trade Unions, who have accompanied the political and diplomatic representatives to the meeting of the region’s highest decision makers.

The Presidents of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, the Saint Lucia Manufacturers Association and the Saint Lucia Trade Union Federation are all on the Saint Lucia delegation in Basseterre.

Prime Minister Anthony says he “established the practice of including the Social Partners on official delegations” to CARICOM summits “because that will offer them a better understanding of the issues and how they are seen and handled at the regional level.”

He explained that “in this case, the summit will be discussing and taking decisions relating to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and these issues will inevitably be of interest to the Social Partners.”

The Saint Kitts meeting will discuss, among other issues, the next step in the process of the smaller member-states of the OECS sub-regional grouping’s accession to the CARICOM Single Market (CSM).

Several other issues of regional and national importance are on the agenda for the Heads of Government gathered in the twin island federation.

Prime Minister Anthony, in his capacity as Lead Prime Minister on matters of Justice and Governance in CARICOM, will lead discussions on matters relating to the return of Haiti to the CARICOM fold after the recent democratic elections in that populous but troubled Caribbean state.

PM Anthony will also lead discussions on the upcoming general elections in Guyana, which have had to be postponed due to logistical problems.

The summit in Saint Kitts and Nevis follows the recent celebration there of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the OECS and the unveiling of the sub-regional group’s new flag, the competition for which was won by a Saint Lucian artistic company.

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