Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur has been handed yet another assignment by his successor, Prime Minister Mia Mottley when he was named to head a global commission.
Minister of Foreign Trade Sandra Husbands today disclosed that Arthur will be at the helm of the newly-formed Global Commission on Trade and Development Options 2020 Common Cause.
This appointment comes mere weeks after Mottley tapped the economist who led Barbados for 14 years for the chairmanship of regional airline, LIAT
“The Prime Minister has established and asked the Honourable Professor Owen Arthur to head this particular effort bringing his skills, knowledge and experience to bear in pulling together some of the leading thinkers from across the world who specialise in trade and development,” Husbands told the House of Assembly.
Barbados is to host the UNCTAD (United Nations Commission on Trade and Development) conference in October.
She continued: “[They] must have a concern for small island developing states so that they can bring together the best minds and develop a set of policy options that we can actually present to the conference in October.
“We believe that this will redound to the benefit of the nation as well as CARICOM.”
The Minister was speaking while seeking a supplemental appropriation of $3.4 million for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade most of which is for the summit. She explained the $2 million of the $3.4 million will help finance the Barbados National Organising Committee and conference’s secretariat.
Husbands said the ministry has already formed the committee and secretariat and that two entities are currently staffed but now Government must pay for their services.
She said: “Our Prime Minister… has positioned Barbados to take an even greater leadership position in that UNCTAD conference by forming a global commission whose job is to develop a set of strategies and policies that will help to guide the discussions at UNCTAD and guide and influence the policies of other multi-lateral agencies to ensure that our needs are met.
“And this particular global commission is the Global Commission on Trade and Development Options 2020 Common Cause and what we have been able to do.”
The Foreign Trade Minister reported that a UNCTAD technical team was currently here meeting with the National Organising Committee to work out the details on the conference.
“Barbados has the honour of being the first small island state to actually host that conference… and to be the chair for the next four years.
“Therefore we are seizing this opportunity to put on the world’s agenda in that multi-lateral setting the issues that are important to us.
“We believe that if we can conduct a truly successful conference in which we are able to position the needs of small nations and especially in a changing environment that this would do much to provide much-needed help, much-needed support that we will need in order to take forward our trade.”