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Three players found guilty of breaching ICC Code of Conduct in Sunday’s T20I

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — England’s Ravi Bopara and West Indies’ Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels have been fined for a level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the first Twenty20 International (T20I) in Barbados on Sunday.

The three players were found to have breached Article 2.1.8 of the code, which states: “Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the (above) offence, conduct that either: (a) is contrary to the spirit of the game; or (b) brings the game into disrepute”.

All the three players pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the sanctions proposed by Andy Pycroft of Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

The incident took place in the 12th over of England’s innings when Bopara, while taking a single, made insulting comments towards Samuels, who responded. West Indies captain Sammy joined in, also trading insults with Bopara. The exchange only ceased with the intervention of the on-field umpires Joel Wilson and Peter Nero.

For their involvements in the incident, Bopara was fined 25 percent of his match fee, while Sammy and Samuels were fined 20 and 10 percent respectively.

Besides the on-field umpires, the charge was also laid by third umpire Gregory Brathwaite as well as fourth official Nigel Duguid.

All Level 1 breaches for this offence carry a penalty of a warning/reprimand and/or the imposition of a fine up to 50 percent of the applicable match fee.

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Grenada’s Scholar rocks Dominica at 2014 carnival

ROSEAU, Dominica — The 2014 pre-Lenten carnival weekend was undoubtedly a memorable one for music from Grenada.

While Hollice “Mr Killa” Mapp was creating mayhem with his “Rolly Pollies”, and Wilt “Tallpree” Cambridge continued to establish a “Jab Jab nation” outside of Grenada from their temporary base in Trinidad, Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey had journeyed to “The Nature Isle” – Dominica – for carnival celebrations there.

In Dominica, traditional calypso music reigns supreme; and Scholar was in Dominica to share his genius in calypso composition and performance.

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Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey

The seven-time Grenada Calypso Monarch was the guest of the Dominica Calypso Association that made arrangement for his visit in collaboration with Duncan Stowe, a prominent calypso analyst.

“Not surprisingly, the Grenadian calypsonian and schoolteacher did not disappoint in his guest appearance last Saturday at the final of Dominica’s calypso competition,” said lawyer Arley Gill, the former Grenada culture minister, who now works in Dominica.

In a tight and intense battle among the Dominican finalists, King Dice was crowned for the seventh time as the country’s Calypso Monarch.

Scholar sang two of his massive hits, “Love Life” and “Man Gone, Man Dey”.

“He wowed the crowd and earned the admiration of arguably the most passionate calypso audience in the Caribbean,” Gill said when asked to comment on Scholar’s performance.

“Love Life” was one of Scholar’s selections in the 2006 CARIFESTA competition in which he placed among the top five in a contest that included Trinidadians such as Cro Cro, Sugar Aloes, Singing Sandra and Luta.

Scholar teased the Dominicans with “Man Gone, Man Dey” – a rendition that tells the story of young men who are bent on being violent, and who end up in prison. When they go to jail, sings Scholar, other men will enjoy the company of their girlfriends.

The audience enjoyed the lyrics and music as they swayed with hails of laughter and joviality that belied the fact that they were hearing the song for the first time.

Scholar endeared himself to the women folk when he declared that, “Dominica is a nice woman factory”; he won their hearts. There were calls for “more”. But, Scholar eventually exited the stage to facilitate the second round of the Calypso Monarch competition.

“It was great entertainment in a tense competition and brought a welcome relief to the audience,” said Gill. “The audience could not get enough of Scholar’s short performance.”

Gill said Grenadian bards have established an outstanding track record of performances in Dominica, going back three decades with former Grenada Calypso Monarchs, Flying Turkey and Smokey.

“Many Dominicans reminisce of one Flying Turkey who competed in a sub-regional competition there in 1984 singing, “Writing on the Wall” and “Baron”. Turkey came second then, but there is the quiet concession that to the audience, he probably won after all,” Gill said.

“Whatever it is, Turkey left an indelible mark here in this calypso country, Dominica. Smokey competed the year after. Well, Scholar renewed that Grenada presence here. The general sentiment among Dominicans is, ‘That Mister bad”’.

St Vincent consulate makes history in Northern Ireland

NEWTOWNARDS, Northern Ireland — The consulate of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the community of Ards in Northern Ireland ‘made history’ on Monday (Commonwealth Day) when it joined 500 other communities across the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man in raising the Commonwealth flag in Newtownards.

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Dr Christopher Stange (R), Hon. Consul for St Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland, and Cllr. Stephen McIlveen, Mayor of Ards with the Commonwealth flag

Mayor of Ards, Councillor Stephen McIlveen, was joined by Dr Christopher Stange of the consulate for St Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland, for the flag-raising ceremony.

The event was part of the largest, single, raising of the Commonwealth flag in the history of the Commonwealth, an initiative which aimed to demonstrate a widespread public commitment to the Commonwealth, appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens around the world.

McIlveen, said: “This was a simple, yet very visible demonstration of our support for the Commonwealth’s shared goals of democracy, development and respect for diversity and I was privileged to be able to raise the flag in the company of Dr Stange and at the same moment as hundreds of other communities across the UK and the 53 countries which form the Commonwealth.”

Stange commented: “It has been a privilege to be involved with Ards Borough Council to commemorate Commonwealth Day. SVG is one of the few remaining Commonwealth realms with the consulate based in Comber. History, culture, shared values of human rights, democracy and rule of law unites the 53 member states. We look forward to the Commonwealth Games this year in Glasgow, building upon the long standing relations between St Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom.”

Dominica looks to new method to clamp down on illegal firearms after amnesty fails

ROSEAU, Dominica — Law enforcement officials here have admitted that a gun amnesty launched in Dominica a few years ago has failed.

The gun amnesty, which was spearheaded by the government of Dominica, was geared towards persons with illegal firearms.

They were asked to bring these firearms to the police and would not face any charges; however, according to reports, only two persons took advantage of that.

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Assistant Superintendent Inspector Claude Weekes (File Photo)

Speaking on the heels of several gun related incidents over the past few months, Assistant Superintendent Inspector Claude Weekes has made further appeal to young persons who own illegal firearms to hand them over.

“You are putting yourselves in serious problems, you do not have a licence and it’s not registered,” Weekes told CBN4 news.

He warned that the police will spare no effort in recovery of these firearms.

“If we have an intelligence, we will get at you, we will extract and get the firearms… we are sending a strong message and please comply with the police,” he added.

According to Weekes, the government has implemented a number of amnesties and none were successful.

“We did not see firearms coming in at all. People were holding on to their firearms despite the plea by the relevant authorities; the police; the government; the church fraternity and others…,”he stated.

He further noted that, in the old Act, if one was found guilty of owning an illegal firearm that individual would be fined $6,000; however, in the recent Act, one could be charged up to $15,000-$20,000 and sentenced to 8-10 years in prison.

“The laws are there and we are charging people… countries all over the world are concerned about small arms. They are concerned about firearm related offences and we should not take it for a joke here in Dominica,” he explained.

“if people are caught with firearms without licence and it’s not registered they must be dealt with according to the law,” Weekes added.

Meanwhile, Police Superintendent David Andrew said the failure of the gun amnesty has forced police to develop a new strategy; one that he said is bearing fruit.

“Since the amnesty did not bear fruit, the police developed a strategy, an intelligence driven methodology and I can assure you that it had been bearing great fruits,” he said.

In fact, he said, using the new method, “In one year we were able to identify, locate and seize as many as 22 unlawful, unlicensed firearms.”

Republished with permission of CBN4News

Private sector recommended for inclusion in COTED

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Members of the Prime Ministerial sub-committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in discussions during its eighth meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade, in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, on Sunday, March 9. The meeting was held prior to the official opening of the Twenty Fifth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, on Monday, March 10. Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

By Alecia Smith-Edwards

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (JIS) — A recommendation has been put forward for the private sector to be incorporated within the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), as implementation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market proceeds.

This comes following deliberations of the Prime Ministerial sub-committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), during its eighth meeting held in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, on Sunday.

It was suggested that a specific area be carved out within COTED, which is responsible for the promotion of trade and economic development of the Community, where the private sector can be accommodated.

The sub-committee members are of the view that the private sector has to be re-engaged in the implementation process, as they can be the driving force of the Single Market.

The meeting, which was the first of three days of deliberations, was chaired by prime minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart.

The CSME sub-committee, which comprises representatives from Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago, also discussed the progress of member states in the implementation process for the Single Market. Currently, between 65 and 90 percent of the implementation exercises have been completed among the member states.

The group also considered the next steps to be taken in terms of how the CARICOM Secretariat, along with the member states will proceed, in implementing what has not yet been put in place.

Representatives looked at the ongoing reform process within the CARICOM Secretariat, and how this can be moved forward, focusing specifically on how the organs and institutions of the Community can be improved, as well as how the integrity of the Secretariat can be advanced.

The reform process seeks to bring about change within the Community by facilitating the structured, effective implementation of the transformation of CARICOM and its Secretariat, in alignment with an agreed Community strategic thrust for the benefit of citizens.

The CSME, which is being implemented in several phases, is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which took place in July 1989, in Grand Anse, Grenada.

The sub-committee meeting was held prior to the official opening of the 25th inter-sessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, on Monday in St Vincent.

For the remaining two days, discussions will focus on information and communications technology (ICT), human resource development and sustainable development of the region’s economies.

CARICOM heads to discuss Guyana’s non-passage of AML-CFT bill

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (GINA) — The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) said it is extremely worried over the non-passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill in Guyana and has formally written expressing the Community’s deep concern at the wider implications for the region.

In a letter dated March 7, 2014, to Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said, “Without any doubt, this situation and the threatened action by CFATF [Caribbean Financial Action Task Force] will affect Guyana and the entire Caribbean region, and will negatively impact the well-being of our people.”

“I trust that during our inter-sessional meeting we will be able to discuss this matter in caucus, and see what other action we can take as a group to assist Guyana at this juncture,” Stuart added.

CARICOM leaders urged to ‘do the right thing’ in relation to St Kitts-Nevis

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St Kitts and Nevis opposition protestors

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (WINN) — Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government who began meeting in St Vincent and the Grenadines at their current inter-sessional summit on Monday morning, are being told, in the words of St Kitts and Nevis opposition protesters, to do the right thing.

Opposition coalition Team Unity leaders Dr Timothy Harris and Shawn Richards have joined the opposition leader in Kingstown, St Vincent, Arnhim Eustace, in a bid to have the St Kitts and Nevis motion of no confidence stalemate put on the CARICOM agenda.

The three were among protesters who greeted the heads of government with placards as the leaders arrived at their summit venue in Kingstown.

WINN FM was able to speak to Richards, Harris and Eustace during the Monday morning protest.

“What is happening in St Kitts and Nevis is of course a threat to democracy,” Richards said.

The MP who heads Team Unity, Dr Harris, told WINN FM that if given an opportunity to address the heads he would urge them to “do the right thing”.

“They know that would is happening in St Kitts is obnoxious and is bad and is unacceptable and they ought to do the right thing,” Harris said.

Eustace has meanwhile accused CARICOM leaders of hypocrisy, pointing out that they are making statements on the situation in other countries including Venezuela and Ukraine while continuing to ignore the problem in Basseterre, where their colleague, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, continues to govern even though he has lost the support of the majority of elected MPs.

Winn FM was able to reach CARICOM chairman Ralph Gonsalves who declined to comment, explaining at the time that the summit was just about to begin, and he had to engage in his chairmanship duties.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network

Jamaicans still held in Haiti on drug and gun trafficking charges

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Jamaicans arrested and detained in Haiti

By Joseph Guyler Delva

LES CAYES, Haiti (HCNN) — At least 20 Jamaicans, arrested and detained months and years ago on suspected drug and gun trafficking charges, are still held in custody in Haiti in the southern town of Les Cayes, where they feel abandoned by their government and left without any legal support in the Caribbean country, they say.

The Jamaicans, who are scattered in different cells in the main prison in Les Cayes, denied any involvement in drug trafficking and each of them had a different story to tell about the motive for their presence in Haiti, while Haitian local authorities say they hold strong evidence against some of them.

“I got arrested but they did not find anything on me,” Kenny Burton, 31, told HCNN.

“They found drugs in the area where I was and they blamed it on us,” said Burton who was arrested on July 7 last year, together with another Jamaican colleague.

A first group of 15 Jamaicans were arrested over the past months and years in different coastguard and police operations, supported by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, while five other persons were apprehended at the end of last year during a police crackdown near the town of Aquin.

The Jamaicans remain in preventive custody while their cases are being studied by an investigative judge who has to issue a report in which he will order who should be released because of lack of evidence and who should be tried by the Haitian criminal courts.

Winston Richards, detained since August 18, 2012, said he was arrested while he was sitting in a yard on the island of Ile-A-Vache where he had been living for about five months.

“We’ve been locked up here with no lawyer to assist us and we don’t speak the Creole language and our [Jamaican] government is not saying anything about our situation here,” Richards told HCNN.

“We are Caribbean people, we are just trying to move around, man,” he said.

A prosecutor in Les Cayes, Joubert Amazan, said his office provides mandatory and free legal assistance to the Jamaicans who do not have a lawyer to assist them when the investigative judge calls them for questioning.

“Some have a chance to be released, but some others are very deeply involved in illegal activities,” Amazan told HCNN.

“Some have a lawyer, but for those who don’t have one we commit a lawyer through the Bar Association,” he said.

The wife of one of the detainees, Samantha Scarlett, who spoke to HCNN from Jamaica, called on the Jamaican government to intervene to make sure the case of her husband, Michael Dennis, as well as those of other detained fellow Jamaicans have the benefit of a fair judicial process.

“I think the Jamaican government should do something because there are Jamaican citizens who are in a very difficult situation in Haiti,” said Scarlett.

“We need him [Michael Dennis] to come back home and we have a 16-year-old daughter who is so affected by the situation,” she told HCNN.

Relatives of the detained Jamaicans seem very concerned when it comes to the fairness of the judicial process in Haiti, particularly when they know the English-speaking detainees do not have access to proper legal assistance in the French and Creole-speaking country.

A cousin of Winston Richards, Marcia Blair, told an HCNN reporter to extend her love and best wishes to her jailed relative.

“Please tell him we say hi, we love him and his family misses him,” Blair said affectionately.

Some of the Jamaicans — such as Hugh Wright (53), Grandville Barkley (41), Dennis Allen (54), Papa Salt (70) — were arrested in connection with a case involving a quantity of marijuana and several guns recently discovered near the southern town of Aquin.

A fifth detainee wearing dreadlocks, who identified himself as Pierre Altidor, said he was Haitian but he could hardly pronounce a Creole word. Other Jamaican inmates said that his name was instead “Seal” and that he was Jamaican.

The 15 other Jamaican detainees are Junior Daily (32), Dean Dawson (27), Kenny Burton (31), Agustus Tuckre (53), Winston Richards (31), Roy Prince (55), Jason Smith (32), Michael Dennis (40), Linval Samuels (24), Garry Williams (30), Romaine Brown (18), Glenval Hall (37), Martin Trench (27), Othniel Williams (31), Richard Bryam (36).

A judge released a few months ago three Jamaicans — Mark Reid, Fenton Johnson and Mark Pitt — along with two Cubans, Juan Rafael Hidalgo and Alexis Leyva Moreno — for lack of evidence after being held on drug charges for several months.

Caribbean leaders convene for CARICOM inter-sessional summit in St Vincent

Peter Richards

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Monday March 10, 2014, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders began their inter-sessional summit here on Monday reiterating the importance of the regional integration movement to the socio-economic and political development of the region.

Host Prime Minister and CARICOM Chairman, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that 41-year-old 15-member grouping was not designed as a central government for a “bundle of disparate territories” neither was it a unitary state or federation or confederation.

“The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas conceives CARICOM as a community of sovereign states. Its centre has been deliberately designed as a weak superstructure which constantly gropes for consensus.

“That is what the political market can bear, that is the reality which the broad citizenry in the community has endorsed.”

Gonsalves said that neither the political leadership as a collective nor the populations as a whole have an appetite for much more than what is currently on offer in the treaty commitments.

“So our political mandate is to ensure that what is fashioned in the Revised Treaty is implemented optimally. To achieve this we must first love and care for CARICOM, secondly we must ensure that the organs of the Community work as intended and that its decisions are implemented in each nation-state if the Community”

He said thirdly, the political leaders and populations in each nation posses the requisite political will for CARICOM’s opimal functioning as structured.

Gonsalves told the summit that a compelling agenda for CARICOM has been outlined by numerous studies, including one by Trinidad and Tobago’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran and that a “strategic path is being further elaborated by CARICOM.

Gonsalves said that CARICOM is frequently lambasted for its failure or refusal to implement the decisions of its treaty based institutions.

“Invariably, the CARICOM Secretariat is excoriated for this implementation deficit. However, the Secretariat is not CARICOM, it is the central administrative instrument of CARICOM but it possesses no authority to compel enforcement of decisions of the various Councils of Ministers and the Heads of State and Government conference.”

Gonsalves said that in the absence of an executive CARICOM Commission, buttressed by the requiste constitutional or legal authority, the central responsibility for the implementation of CARICOM’s decisions rests with the governments of the individual nation-states.

“Thus, each government is enjoined in its responsibility, nay its solemn obligation to put appropriate institutional arrangements in its national executive and administrative apparatuses to facilitate the speedy and efficacious implementation of CARICOM decisions.”

Gonsalves told his regional colleagues that to be sure, the delivery of the Secretariat’s administrative and coordinated functions ought to be enhanced even as he acknowledged that the implementation deficit has to be put “squarely where it belongs, at the level of national governments.

“Accordingly, vaunted change drivers cannot reasonably facilitate meaningful change in decision-making and implementation in CARICOM if the individual governments or several of them do not embrace a commitment, made manifest through structured arrangements day-to-day, in the making and implementation of CARICOM’s decision.”

“So the success of the CARICOM enterprise truly begins with the political leaderships, though it does not end with us alone. It ends with us, our national populations and national institutions massaged by the balm of our regional apparatuses,” Gonsalves said.

He said while the summit here has a “long agenda” the subjects to be discussed or reviewed for determination all have one focus, “the improvement in the quality of life and living of the people our our CARICOM region.

”Our deliberations at this conference do not take place in an abstract world, but ina  lived global, regional and national conditions stuffed with possibilities and limitations.

“The real world of life, living, and production compel us at this time to reflect centrally on measures for strengthening our regional and national economies incuding the fortification of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME|), addressing efficaciously the existential challenge of climate change, improving markedly the delivery of air and sea transportation  and enhancing citizen security”.

Gnsalves said that apart from these issues there were also the perennial matters such as governance, institutional and administrative arrangements of CARICOM deemed “best suited to achieve CARICOM purposes”.

In her address to the conference, outgoing CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar said that she was pleased one of the major outcomes of the last summit was the approval for the establishment of the Commission on the Economy to advise regional governments on solutions that would lead to growth and development.

“The Commission’s work has already begun and with a deep appreciation of the fact that sustainable development can only be achieved through the free movement of people and goods, reliable transportation across the region has also become a top priority. “

The Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister said that in planning for the future of the region, her country would continue to take its responsibility “ very seriously in linking our progress to the region’s success.

“As one of the founding members of the Community, we have worked hard to build a reputation on good faith that wherever we seek our best diplomatic and bilateral interests on the global stage, so too will we seek the best interests of CARICOM.”

She said more critical to the sustainability of the region “is our need to work decisively to eradicate crime and threats to the safety of the people of CARICOM.

“In this regard, Trinidad & Tobago proposed an amendment to the agenda of this meeting for the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty and support for Trinidad and Tobago’s CARICOM-endorsed bid to Host the Secretariat in Port of Spain.”

She said the Arms Trade Treaty provides the region with a significant component in the global fight against the trade of conventional arms in illicit markets.

To date 116 States have signed the ATT, including all CARICOM members, except Haiti.

Eleven States have ratified the Treaty thereby expressing their consent to be legally bound by its provisions. They are Iceland, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Panama and Norway.

But Prime Minister Persad Bissessar said for the ATT to come into force, Article 22 requires the signatures and early ratification by 50 signatory States so that the Treaty can come into force with the minimum of delay.

She said Mexico and Chile have already formally pledged support for Trinidad and Tobago’s CARICOM-endorsed bid to host the ATT Secretariat.

“However, among CARICOM member States, only Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada have so far ratified the ATT.

“In addition, I want to urge CARICOM member States to prepare to participate, once more with an unified approach, in the negotiations that will ensue before and after the ATT comes into force.”

CARICOM secretary-general underscores importance of CSME

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Monday March 10, 2014, CMC – Caribbean Community (CAICOM) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque Monday underscored the importance of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) to the regional integration process.

He told regional leaders meeting here that the next steps in the CSME process would be presented to them at their inter-sessional summit that ends here on Tuesday.

The CSME allows for the free movement of skills, good, services and labour across the region, and La Rocque said the consultation process as well as the work of the Commission on the Economy, established by regional leaders last September, “has validated the continued relevance of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy as the platform from which to build our economic resilience”.

He said the Commission’s preliminary report, which will be considered at the meeting, suggests priority attention to fiscal sustainability, including debt management, and promoting a conducive environment that would reduce regional impediments to investment and trade and spur private sector growth and development.

He said the Commission also recognises the importance of energy, information, communication and technology (ICT) and transportation sectors as enablers of this growth and development.

La Rocque said that with regards to ICT, which he described as both an enabler of socio-economic development, as well as a sector in its own right for creating employment, the sector in both its forms, must be viewed as the new frontier for regional integration and “has to be a significant factor as we forge a path towards growth and sustainable development as well as in our efforts to strengthen that spirit of Community”.

But he said to enhance those possibilities, the creation of a single ICT space within CARICOM “should be pursued vigorously in our efforts to bring technology to the people, while aiding in building our technological resilience”.

La Rocque said growth and development cannot take place without the human resource capacity to sustain it, adding that “a holistic approach to our education systems would address the shortcomings and challenges that have been observed in human resource capacity in both public and private sectors.

The CARICOM Secretary General said that CARICOM’s initiatives in both ICT and human resource development, would receive focussed attention during the summit with the respective government leaders with responsibility for the two areas – Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas – would make presentations to the summit.

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