Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
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Government has contracted former Prime Minister Owen Arthur to chair a new global commission to examine some of the critical small island issues ahead of next year’s United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XV in Barbados.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and Arthur, who is currently Professor of Practice, Economics of Development at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, have already held preliminary discussions.
The Barbados-sponsored Global Commission on Small Island Developing States – Trade Development Options 2020, are expected to prepare papers on issues ranging from the high indebtedness of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to global warming and the impact of artificial intelligence.
A release yesterday from the Prime Minister’s press secretary Roy Morris, stated that the commissioners would be selected from around the globe and would meet both face-to-face and virtually. A secretariat to support the commission and its work would soon be set up.
“Their research will also cover topics such as the development of a realisable modern trade agenda; an assessment of the current state of SIDS; graduation from access to financing; vulnerability; a narrow economic base enhancing dependence on a small range of products; areas of potential transformation; creative economies; and the development of small enterprises,” the released stated.
It was also noted that papers produced by the commission would be considered in the lead up to Barbados’ chairmanship and hosting of UNCTAD XV in 2020. (PR/CM)