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New National Social and Economic Council to Chart Vision for 2015

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On Thursday, 19 October 2006, the new National Social and Economic Council (NSEC) will be officially launched and its main members will be sworn in before Her Excellency, the Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy.

The gathering will be addressed by the Hon. Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, who is the islandís Minister responsible for Economic Affairs and International Financial Services; and immediately following this ceremony, the Council will hold its inaugural meeting, the first since its appointment.

The main output of this meeting is the formulation of a Work Plan towards the implementation of the Councilís main mandate, which is the development of a Strategic Vision for the countryís continued social and economic development towards the year 2015, commonly referred to as Vision 2015.

The National Economic Council (NEC) was inaugurated on September 13, 2002, to serve as a forum for informed discussion among various social partners. The main aim is to identify the key economic challenges affecting the country and to make recommendations for the response to these.

In September 2004, the NEC came to the end of its two-year stint and a new body has since been appointed by Cabinet.

Cognizant of the various development challenges facing the country, Government has charged the new council with a broadened focus to encompass a social dimension. Consequently, a new name was given, National Social and Economic Council (NSEC).

The Councilís Secretariat operates out of the Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR).

The Council has hired a full-time Economic Research Policy Officer who will work closely with the Cabinet Policy and External Trade Advisors.

The Council is served by a President, Mr Richard Peterkin, a General Secretary, Ms Jacqueline Emmanuel and a body of thirteen (13) members.

The research work of the Council is supported by a Technical Committee and Public Sector Consultative Committee.

The overall composition of the Council is determined and appointed by Cabinet.

The NSEC generally serves the Government of St. Lucia in a research and advisory role on various social and economic policies that impact national development.

The swearing-in has been scheduled for Thursday, October 19, 2006 from 10am to 11.30am at the NIC Conference centre on the Waterfront in Castries.

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