Uwp calls for joint donors conference


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Press Release emanating from the office of the United Workers Party Political Leader.

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Uwp calls for joint donors conference

  1. 1. Upstairs AF Valmont, P.O. Box RB 2497, Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia Tel/Fax: (758) 572-4949 Contact: Allen Chastanet – 758-722-4200 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE UWP CALLS FOR JOINT DONORS CONFERENCE CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Monday, January 6, 2014 – The Political Leader of the United Workers Party, Mr. Allen Chastanet has called on the Governments of the three islands which suffered extensive damage as a result of the Christmas Eve (December 24th) trough weather system, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, to convene a joint Donors Conference in order to mobilize support Regionally and Internationally for the re-construction effort in the three countries. Mr. Chastanet expressed the view that the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia should take the initiative in piloting moves for such a conference which could be coordinated by the Saint Lucia based OECS Secretariat. The Political Leader said that the damage arising from the recent weather system, underscored the vulnerability of the region as a whole to natural disasters which result in widespread economic and social dislocation. He further added that the aftermath of the disaster provided an opportunity for a collaborative effort in, not only reconstruction, but in finding solutions to the common problems that we face and in the interest of the long term sustainability of these islands. He noted that the countries are all part of an OECS Economic Union, and that even before the disaster, they faced serious social and economic challenges which have been compounded by the extensive damage to infrastructure and private property across the islands. He particularly lamented the loss of life for which he once again extended condolences to all those affected. Mr. Chastanet emphasized that there is already a basis for such collaboration as there are a number of institutions and arrangements through which we already cooperate as a region and that regional action in this case can facilitate national survival. Such an initiative will also send a signal to the international community that we are serious about regional integration and are prepared to take it to the next level. Many in the donor community have expressed a preference for regional approaches in providing development assistance and are likely to be attracted by such a proposition. He reminded Saint Lucians and the wider region that the United Workers Party had always been a party which promoted regional integration as a key objective and that
  2. 2. the founding fathers of the party were among the forerunners of the regional integration movement both at the CARICOM and OECS levels. His call for a regional approach in dealing with the aftermath of the disaster is therefore consistent with the philosophy of the United Workers Party. Mr. Chastanet concluded by emphasizing “this is an opportunity for us to focus on the serious economic, social and environmental circumstances which confront us together, and we should seize that opportunity. We should also demonstrate that we have the will to strengthen the institutional base of the OECS and not only talk in regional terms, but that there is the will to act regionally.” -END-