Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Her Excellence Carla Barnett stressed the importance of climate change and agriculture to the Region as she began a three-day official visit to Saint Lucia.
Dr Barnett met with the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia the Honourable Philip Pierre who is Lead Head of Government for Sustainable Development in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet and updated the Cabinet of Saint Lucia on current issues being addressed by the Community. She drew attention to issues of climate change and the approach to COP 27 to be held in Egypt later this year, agriculture and the recovery from Covid-19 as well as the social issues arising from the effects of the pandemic.
She also met with the Honourable Shawn Edward, Minister of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training and discussed the Community’s climate change agenda. Their discussions also involved the progress of the CARICOM Human Resource Development Strategy 2030 and the reengagement of students following the Covid-19 Pandemic which resulted in schools being closed and the introduction of remote learning at the primary and secondary levels.
The Secretary-General and the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Dr Didacus Jules held talks at the OECS Headquarters on ways to increase collaboration between the two Organisations and Secretariats. Of particular interest was the agricultural sector and the upcoming Agri investment Forum and Expo which will be held in Guyana on May 19-21.
Dr Barnett also engaged with fifth-form students of the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, entertaining their questions about the Community and rendering advice on the importance of pursuing their studies. The school’s creative arts students entertained the Secretary-General with an excerpt from Roderick Walcott’s play The Banjo Man, which Dr Barnett said she thoroughly enjoyed.