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Commonwealth Secretary General visits SVG

Commonwealth Secretary General visits SVG

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The Secretary General to the Commonwealth, H.E. Kamlesh Sharma visited this country on Wednesday, June 15, during which he met with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to discuss with him issues leading up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth, Australia.{{more}}

According to H.E Sharma, the visit was to brief the leaders of this and other countries around the region on the progress made from the last heads of government meeting and to get a sense where they would like the discussions to go.

Secretary General Sharma also spoke on a number of other issues that he and Prime Minister Gonsalves spoke on, including maritime boundaries and debt management.

He spoke of the collaboration between CARICOM and the Commonwealth Secretariat and their work on the creation of a program to create capacity for negotiations with Europe.

Discussions also centred on the issues of youth and women.

“These are cross cutting areas together with human rights which the Commonwealth works on consistently,” H.E Sharma said.

He added that he was looking forward to discussing with the region’s heads ideas pertaining to youth enterprise.

Sharma spoke favourably on the points of advocating for small island states.

“The Commonwealth prides itself as having advanced the cause of small and vulnerable states.”

He further explained that the Secretariat was further supporting the cause of small states through the opening of an office in Geneva to complement that in New York.

“This is important because Geneva is central to multi-lateral talk, so by being present there, the important point of view of smaller states can be reflected and opportunities can be created,” H.E Sharma explained.

Meanwhile, this country’s Foreign Minister Dr Douglas Slater said that this country had benefitted a lot from organizations such as the Commonwealth, particularly in the area of education.

“I think it is important that the people understand the cooperation that has been going on with the Commonwealth and the direct benefits,” Slater said.

He added that democracy and its practice was not always simple or cheap and, therefore, needed some assistance.

He did, however, contend that this country still needed to work on the area of capacity building.

“As a small developing nation, we often hear we need capacity building,” he said. (DD)

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