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Opposition NDP attends 2-day retreat

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The first ever two-day retreat hosted by The Commonwealth Secretariat’s Governance and Institutional Development Division with Members of Parliament of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has been described as “excellent”, “tremendous”, “positive” and “worthwhile”.{{more}}

The retreat, which took place from Thursday, July 28, to Friday, July 29, 2011, was a capacity building exercise which delved into governance and development over two days of intense discussion and participation.

Facilitators from the Commonwealth Secretariat in London were Dr. Joan Nwasike – (Head of Regional Programmes and Adviser for the Caribbean region) Geraldine Goh (Communications Adviser Commonwealth Secretariat), Dr Carlton Davis, (Consultant and former Cabinet Secretary – Jamaica). Dr. Peter Phillips (Former Cabinet Minister and Shadow Minister of Finance and Chairman of PAC, Jamaica) and Jeremiah Scott (Former Cabinet Minister, St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

A release from the NDP said at the end of the session, Dr. Nwasike, who headed the delegation, said in no uncertain terms, “We are glad we came.” Sessions ran past end times on both days, with detailed discussions and thorough presentations made by the facilitators.

The Opposition’s contributions were spirited, articulate and well received, the release said.

President of the NDP, Arnhim Eustace, who thanked the Division of the Secretariat for this initiative, said he was pleased with the event.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to table issues of importance to governance in our country in this forum. Information was shared and proposals made. We believe that this will go a long way in ensuring that Vincentian concerns about transparency and integrity in government will be addressed.”

All facilitators were presented with local gift baskets of Erica’s Country Style Products and Vincentian made wine from Opposition member of parliament Daniel Cummings’ Tropical Wines line of products.

The Division is now in Dominica where they will offer a similar session to the Opposition UWP.