Sharma Visits Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Jamaica and St Vincent and
the Grenadines in Official Visit to the Caribbean Region
LONDON, June 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh
Sharma will lay particular stress on youth employment, underachievement
by boys and strengthening economic resilience during his six-day trip
to the Caribbean region, 12-17 June 2011.
Mr Sharma is scheduled to visit Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Jamaica,
and St Vincent and the Grenadines. He will meet Heads of Government,
ministers, Speakers and Leaders of the Opposition.
He will also meet representatives of the private sector and young
Speaking ahead of his departure Mr Sharma said: "Finding imaginative
ways of creating jobs and skills development for the youth is a
priority for the Commonwealth. This requires partnership between
government and the private sector and the Commonwealth can help build
co-operation and collaboration. I'm particularly struck by the positive
response in Commonwealth countries to innovative approaches by banks
and financial institutions to mainstream youth involvement in the
economic life of these countries.
"Mentoring is often what helps young people make themselves more
employable or set themselves up independently in professions. Support
for youth entrepreneurship not only helps bring opportunities for
self-employment, it helps create other new jobs for young people and
assets for the society. We need to be alert to the needs both of young
men and of young women and help advance their prospects in every
"My visit is a valuable opportunity to share practical ideas gleaned
from some of the work we are already doing. I want to learn more about
projects already underway in the Caribbean and to identify the ways in
which our Commonwealth partnership can multiply the benefit. We will
build on the proposals put forward last month at the Commonwealth
Caribbean Conference 'Investing in Youth Employment'."
Mr Sharma also commented on opportunities being created by the
Commonwealth to strengthen the region's resilience to natural
disasters. The Commonwealth is working with Caribbean governments in
the region to help protect livelihoods and infrastructure from
vulnerability to events such as hurricanes.
During the Caribbean visit Mr Sharma will call on Baldwin Spencer, Prime
Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of
Dominica; Bruce Golding, Prime Minister of Jamaica; and Dr Ralph
Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to discuss
priorities for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
(CHOGM), which is scheduled to take place in Perth, Australia in
October 2011. He will also brief them on progress on mandates from the
last leaders' meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in 2009,
such as the Network of Election Management Bodies and the Commonwealth
internet gateway, known as 'Commonwealth Connects'.
SOURCE The Commonwealth Secretariat
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