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New Regional Integration Unit for PM’s office

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The Regional Integration Unit, in the Office of the Prime Minister is being formed and is to be headed by Ambassador Ellsworth John.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, where he reported on his trip over the last weekend to Guyana, Dr Gonsalves said that it was important

for there to be a national mechanism to coordinate the wide-ranging issues regarding the deepening CARICOM cooperation and integration.{{more}}

“There are fundamental matters which require implementation at a national level,” said Dr Gonsalves, as he presented the rationale for the new unit.

Another key person in this unit will be Nerrisa Gittens, presently attached to the Maritime Intelligence Unit in the Prime Minister’s office.

Dr Gonsalves said that he has already requested that she be transferred from

her present posting to the new entity. She was one of three persons who accompanied Dr Gonsalves when he visited the CARICOM secretariat in Guyana last weekend.

Dr Gonsalves said that his visit was the fulfillment of a promise he made to CARICOM General Secretary, Dr Edwin Carrington that he would visit during his six-month term in the rotating post of Chairman of Caricom.

Dr Gonsalves said that while he wished that Ambassador John could have returned to St Vincent earlier, he is currently leading important efforts in his capacity as Chair of CARICOM Ambassadors in Washington.

“He is leading the efforts to organize the conference on the Caribbean in Washington,” Dr Gonsalves said.

A meeting is also scheduled as part of this conference with several heads of Government of Caricom and President Bush at the White House sometime around June 19-21.

While in Guyana, Dr Gonsalves also had an audience with Guyanese President Barath Jagdeo.

Press Secretary Hans King and his personal secretary at the Prime Minister’s office, Angie Williams also accompanied him on the trip. The former will also work along with the new unit when it comes on stream.

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