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May 16, 2012

Commonwealth Local Government Forum opens in Belize

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum opened in Belize City today. Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, flew in for the event as did the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma and other representatives from numerous member countries. Canada announced a twenty-three million dollar initiative for local economic development in the fifty-four member state organization that is headed by the Queen. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad & Tobago arrived in Belize this afternoon where she met briefly with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Belize City office before attending the Commonwealth Local Government Forum being held at the Princess.  The meeting is being chaired by former two-time Belize City mayor Zenaida Moya during which a twenty-three million Canadian dollar initiative known as the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program was launched.

 

Zenaida Moya

Zenaida Moya, Chair, CLGF Meeting

“We need to build on this recognition and we need to use the CARILED program to test new approaches to local economic development, review the necessary policy changes which need to be implemented to enable more effective local economic development and of course we’ll need to use our networks to share the lessons which we generate through this project. This meeting today brings together local governments, central government and private sector partners from almost every country in the Caribbean and members of our CLGF board from across the Commonwealth.”

 

The CLGF is a Commonwealth associated organization representing local and central government with extensive membership in the fifty-four Commonwealth countries and is based in London. The two day meeting is also seeing the participation of high level delegates including CLGF Secretary General Carl Wright and Noel Arscott of Jamaica.

 

Noel Arscott, Chairperson

Noel Arscott

“This conference represents a Caribbean launch of the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program. And in that context, it is incumbent on me on behalf of the people of the Caribbean to express our deep appreciation to the government of Canada for their generous contribution that has made this program possible. In making this contribution and in supporting the partnership approach through which CARILED has been conceptualized design that is now to be executed. The government of Canada and CIDA have once again demonstrated that they are true and genuine friends of the Caribbean and their whole purpose and interest is the development and welfare of the Caribbean and its people.”

 

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar is an honorary patron of CLGF.  Her arrival earlier today marks her first visit to Belize. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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