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Group Title: Official newsletter of the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Title: Official newsletter
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099220/00003
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Title: Official newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Publisher: Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Place of Publication: London, England
Publication Date: February 2005
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Table of Contents
    Cover
        Cover
    Introduction
        Introduction
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
Full Text




NE


TTER


The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission


ISSUE No.96 February 2005


AeriaCview of English and
Falmouth H3arbours
Inside
Finance Minister leads delegation to the WTO hearing of the US appeal
on Internet Gaming case (page 2 to 3)
Dialysis Unit at Holberton gets new equipment (page 5 to 6)
Antigua and Barbuda deposits CCJ Instruments with
CARICOM Secretariat (page 7)
Barbuda gets Reverse Osmosis Plant (page 8)
Digital Photos by Maurice F. Merchant


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~,









Hi/i Comm issioners message


Greetings!


The Disputes Panel of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) ruled last year that U.S.
financial regulations, preventing transactions
between U.S. financial institutions and Antiguan-
based Internet gambling companies, were in
breach of obligations of the U.S. under the General
Agreement on Trade in Services (GA TS).

Within 45 days, the Appellate Body of the
WTO will again decide whether Antigua and
Barbuda can keep engaging in Internet gaming
legally or whether the United States would have to
change its laws to allow this method of gambling.

As a member of the delegation to the
February 21-22 hearing by the Appellate Body of
the World Trade Organization regarding the
Internet Gaming case I must say that we are
optimistic about the outcome.

Finance Minister, Dr Errol Cort, who
headed the delegation and under whose Ministry
the Directorate of Offshore Gaming falls said "If


the Panel rules in favour of Antigua and Barbuda it
would set legal precedence in a number of areas
as it pertains to the future of Internet gaming
worldwide."

Along with the European Union, Japan and
Mexico, support has also come from the
CARICOM countries.

At the CARICOM Heads of Government
Summit in Suriname on February 17 18
CARICOM Heads of Government supported
Antigua and Barbuda in its dispute with the United
States at the World Trade Organisation WTO on
the matter of Internet Gaming.

Following an intervention by Prime Minister
Baldwin Spencer, Heads issued a resolution
supporting the merits of the case outlining that it
holds implications for the provision of services
across borders by CARICOM Member States, and
all members of the WTO.

During his intervention, Prime Minister
Spencer stated that the laws the United States
passed were designed to stop the delivery of
cross-border betting and gambling services from
Antigua and Barbuda into the USA, in violation of
the US commitment under the General Agreement
on Trade in Services (GA TS).

He noted that it caused several betting
companies in Antigua and Barbuda to close,
created unemployment among the country's
highly-trained young people, and lost the economy
tens of millions of dollars per annum.

He also pointed out that following Antigua
and Barbuda's success in the matter before the
WTO, his government made efforts to settle the
matter with the USA amicably, but this was treated
by the US very casually.

In its resolution, CARICOM Heads stated
that the case was a pioneering one and was
instructive in many ways on how small states could
defend their rights in the WTO.


Dr Carl Roberts
High Commissioner








Isu No9 Fbury20


Ministers negotiate
additional 1% bonus for
port workers

On the 3rd February, Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Works,
Communications and the Environment
Wilmoth Daniel and Labour, Public
Administration and Empowerment
Minister Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro
resolved a long standing dispute between
port workers and the Board of
Commissioners over an additional 1%
incentive bonus.

The workers threatened to take
industrial action if they were not paid the
usual 5% incentive bonus. The Board of
Commissioners over the Christmas
holidays paid the workers a 4% bonus,
which it says was due to the financial
constraints the port was facing.

Both Ministers met the Board of
Commissioners of the Port and issued the
following joint statement on the outcome
of the meeting:

'Two Ministries have come
together to reach an amicable settlement
of the dispute over the additional 1%
incentive bonus to be paid to Port
workers. At a joint meeting with Minister
responsible for the Port, Wilmoth Daniel,
Labour Minister, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-
Leandro and the Board of Commissioners
of the Antigua and Barbuda Port
Authority, the concerns of the
Government, the Board of
Commissioners and the Unions were
considered.

At the meeting, the Board
outlined certain anomalies and
irregularities at the Port which required
their urgent attention and action. Chief of
these is that the Antigua and Barbuda
Port Authority is presently undergoing
serious financial difficulties inherited from
years of mal-administration of the Port
operations. These have led to the inability


of the Port to pay the annual incentive
bonus. A number of pressing economic
problems forced the Board of
Commissioners and Port Management to
take the decision to pay 4% instead of the
5% demanded by the Unions.

These include:

a) A large outlay of over $3.7 million
for compliance with the ISPS Security Code
and related equipment replacement.

b) Indebtedness to the Port by
shipping agents and other companies as
well as large outstanding collectibles;

c) An inherited indebtedness for the
Port building and infrastructure dating back
to 23 years, which the previous government
did not pay.

d) Other pressing capital
expenditures including the current
breakdown of the tugs.

It was agreed that the Board of
Commissioners was not wrong in its
interpretation and application of the Unions'
collective agreements. Both the Ministers
were of the view that any industrial action by
the workers would be illegal. This,
notwithstanding, the Ministers decided that
they ought to yield to the Unions' request to
pay the workers the additional 1%.

The Labour Minister indicated her
willingness to continue the dialogue with the
Board, Port Management and the Unions to
assess the manner in which incentive
bonuses are granted with a view towards
basing future bonuses on the profitability of
the Port as articulated in a 2000 Industrial
Court Award and the productivity of workers.

Both Ministers expressed their
pride, faith and confidence in the Board of
Commissioners of the Port and anticipated
a continued cordial working relationship.


Government moves to
establish Integrated
Financial Management
Information Systems

The government is closer to
enhancing its fiscal management with
the arrival of 150 computer systems to
be used in the Integrated Financial
Management Information Systems
(IFMIS).

In announcing the arrival of
the computers, Finance Minister Dr.
Errol Cort said, "Indeed, any fiscally
prudent government must make an
investment in the development of the
governance infrastructure, necessary
to support fiscal management.

"We must ensure
accountability for the processing and
reporting of government's operational
budget, and we must re-establish
policy credibility, as essential
conditions for private sector led
growth."

Dr. Cort said the computers
were yet another milestone in the
development of a modern and
transparent Financial Management
System. "I acknowledge the receipt of
these 150 computer systems which will
be allocated to all ministries throughout
the public sector in an effort to facilitate
the implementation of the FreeBalance
Accounting System."

The Finance Minister advised
that the first phase of deployment
would be distributed within the
accounts sections of the Prime
Minister's Office, the Ministry of
Finance, Treasury Division, Audit
Department and the Public Works
Department.

He said it was through a
strong partnership with the Royal Bank
of Canada that the government was


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Issue F


able to negotiate the pricing and support
relationship with Dell for the systems. "For
this, we extend our heartfelt and deepest
gratitude to Eileen Murraine, Manager,
Royal Bank of Canada and Ross
McDonald, Senior Vice President of Royal
Bank of Canada, Bahamas and the
Caribbean.

"The success of this endeavour
is what can be achieved when both the
Public and Private Sectors work together,"
he concluded.

Ms. Murraine said that her
establishment was delighted to assist the
government in this venture and will be
willing to come forward once again to
assist future beneficial causes that will
facilitate the effective functioning of
government.

The computers were bought
from Dell USA at a cost of $169,000.


Minister leads delegation to
the WTO hearing of the US
appeal on Internet gaming
case

Minister of Finance and the
Economy, Dr. Errol Cort, led Antigua and
Barbuda's delegation to the February 21-22
hearing by the Appellate Body of the World
Trade Organization of an appeal by the
United States against the findings of the
WTO Panel, which ruled in favour of Antigua
and Barbuda in the now famous "Internet
gaming case."

On Monday 21st February,
Minister Cort presented a 21-page
document to the Appellate Body outlining
Antigua and Barbuda's case.

Dr. Cort in reiterating Antigua and
Barbuda's position in the Internet Gaming
Dispute stressed that "Antigua has not
brought this case on behalf of the global
Internet gambling industry. Further, Antigua


has always taken the position that
gambling services should be properly
regulated".

"We believe that any
resolution to this dispute will see our
two countries developing a scheme
reasonably acceptable to both of us
that allows Antiguan operators fair
competitive access to consumers in the
United States. Although the United
States is not ready to negotiate with
Antigua at this time, we are hopeful that
upon Antigua prevailing in this appeal,
the United States will consider
constructive engagement with us to
achieve a speedy and comprehensive
solution," the Finance Minister said.

Opening statements were
also presented by some of the
third party participants to include, the
European Community, Japan and
Mexico.

Following the opening
statements, the Appellate Body
proceeded to ask the teams from
Antigua and Barbuda and the US a
series of questions which continued on
the 22nd February.

According to Dr. Cort, most of
the questions centred around the
countries' interpretation of the GATS
rules particularly Articles 14 & 16.

The Panel has reserved ruling
and will issue a written decision within
45 days to Antigua and Barbuda and
the United States.

Dr. Cort said he was satisfied
with the level of argument presented by
the legal team which was headed by
Attorney-at-Law Mr. Mark Mendel. To
this end, he says that he is cautiously
optimistic since there are a number of
issues that the Appellate Body will have
to consider thus, making it a very
complex case.


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Issue F


In addition to the Minister, the
delegation to the oral hearing included
Antigua and Barbuda's Permanent
Representative to the WTO, H.E. Dr.
John W. Ashe; the Deputy Permanent
Representative to the WTO, H.E. Dr.
Carl Roberts; Director of Gaming, Mrs
Kaye Mc Donald and a legal team
headed by Attorney-at-Law, Mark
Mendel.


Former President of El
Salvador visits Prime
Minister Spencer

On 10th February the former
President of El Salvador and candidate for
the position of Secretary-General of the
Organisation of American States OAS
Francisco Flores paid a courtesy call on
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

President Flores was on a tour of
the region seeking support for his
candidacy. During his discussion with
Prime Minister Spencer he outlined his
background and the accomplishments of
his administration while he was the
President of El Salvador. He said that if
chosen for the position of Secretary-
General of the OAS he will bring the
Organisation closer to the Heads of State
of the hemisphere and in service of their
agenda.

President Flores also
congratulated Prime Minister Spencer on
the accomplishments so far of his
administration, outlining that his
government has already projected to the
international community that the business
of running government has changed in the
interest of the people.

Prime Minister Spencer laid out
Antigua and Barbuda's vision for the OAS
and the kind of support that CARICOM
member states would be looking for in any
candidate for the leadership of the OAS.


Prime Minister Spencer (centre) ano Former Presioent
of E( Salvabor ivitb Anmbassabor Cofin MIuriodc,
AmIbassaor Moran a~n Mariarita Escobar, Vice
Minister of Foreil Affairs o El Salvabor

President Flores is among three
candidates seeking the position of
Secretary General of the OAS. His
Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, Minister of
the Interior of Chile and a former Minister of
Foreign Affairs and His Excellency Luis
Ernesto Derbez, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Mexico are the other two candidates.

Increased cost of gasoline
and diesel to be absorbed by
Government

The Government of Antigua and
Barbuda is to absorb the increased cost of
gasoline and diesel in the country.

This proposal resulted from the
increase in gasoline purchased by West
Indies Oil Company, the sole provider of fuel
in the country, by 99 cents per gallon and
diesel by 70 cents per gallon. If these
increases were passed on to the consumer,
the retail price of gasoline would increase to
$9.20 and diesel to $9.01. Currently
consumers pay $8.21 for gasoline and
$8.31 for diesel per gallon at the pumps.

The absorbing of the increases is
expected to cost the Government an
estimated sum of one million dollars over
the one month period of the consumption of
this batch of products.

Although the initiative will put a
strain on the Government, the Ministry of


Finance and Economy says they have
reviewed the total economic situation
and decided to bear the loss of
revenue and absorb the increase at
this juncture.

However, the government
said it will not be in a position to
absorb further increases should
* petroleum prices continue to rise in
the immediate future.



HEALTH


CAREC to assist in
developing National
Cervical Cancer Policy for
Antigua and Barbuda.

The Ministry of Health in
collaboration with the Caribbean
Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) has
formed a Cervical Cancer Prevention
and Control Committee to develop a
National Cervical Cancer Policy for
Antigua and Barbuda.

The policy will facilitate the
coordination, standardization and
management of the Cervical Cancer
Prevention and Control Programme in
Antigua and Barbuda. The main goal
for such a programme is to reduce
morbidity and mortality from cervical
cancer.

Coordinator of the programme,
Superintendent of Public Health
Nurses, Mrs. Lindley Richardson
disclosed that the Cervical Cancer
Prevention and Control Programme will
target females 20-50 years and 60
years and over.

Mrs. Richardson is
encouraging women in Antigua and
Barbuda to get their Pap smear
screening done to detect any abnormal
cancer cells, so that it can be treated in


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Isu No9 Fbury20


its early stages. Pap smear screenings
are presently being provided by the Clare
Hall, All Saints, Browne's Avenue and
Gray's Farm Health Centres.

The mandate of CAREC is to
have the National Cervical Cancer
Programme well organized and
established by the year 2007.

Health care provision to be
improved within Health
Institutions

The Ministry of Health has
established a flexi-work programme for
nurses interested in working sessions at
Holberton Hospital, Mental Hospital and
Fiennes' Institute.

This initiative is in keeping with a
series of actions taken by the Ministry to
alleviate the nursing shortage currently
being experienced by the institutions.

Clients and patients who access
services at the institutions are expected to
reap immediate benefits from this
programme.

To facilitate the new programme,
the Ministry of Health has invited locally
registered nurses in the private sector,
clinics and nurses currently employed at
Holberton Hospital, Mental Hospital and
Fiennes' Institute to register at the
Nursing Administration Office at
Holberton Hospital, or with the
Superintendent of Public Health Nurse
within the Central Board of Health.

Government negotiates with
Stanford Group on Mount
St. John Medical Centre
Project

On the 9th February, the
Government of Antigua and Barbuda
commenced a series of meetings with the


Stanford Group to discuss issues relating to
the Mount St. John's Medical Centre.

Health Minister John Maginley
convened the meeting with a team from the
Stanford Financial Group lead by its Chief
Financial Officer Mr. Jim Davis to discuss
the future development of the medical
centre and establish new loan
arrangements.

During the discussion three areas
were identified for negotiations.

The Stanford Group will continue
to work with the Ministry of Finance
and the Ministry of Health to
produce a project document to
assist in finding a partner to
operate Mount St John's Medical
Centre

Debts owing to Medical Benefit
Scheme for the Mount St. John's
Medical Centre.

Finding a source of revenue to
assist in the redevelopment of
Holberton Hospital.

The Health Minister said that he
will continue to hold discussions with the
Stanford Financial Group, health officials
and the Ministry of Finance regarding these
three areas.


Earlier this year
Prime Minister Spencer
announced his intention of
authorizing the Minister of
Health to commence
discussions with the Stanford
S. Financial group, in an effort to
reduce the monies owed to
the group so that the Mount
St. John's Medical Centre can
become operational.






Holberton Hospital
surroundings getting
facelift

A project aimed at beautifying
the surroundings of Holberton Hospital
has started.

Health officials along with the
Hospital Administrator Gary Thomas
and the Health Minister's Advisor, Basil
Stuart, toured the institution recently to
observe the commencement of the
project.

Mr. Stuart said the project
which includes the painting of the
Causality Department, trimming of the
trees and repair work on the bathrooms
will uplift the appearance of the health
institution.

In addition, a survey is being
conducted on the property to update
the drawings of the Holberton Hospital
and the Fiennes Institute. The survey
will also assist the design process for
the complete rehabilitation of Holberton
Hospital and the Fiennes Institute.

The next project in the
pipeline for Holberton Hospital will be
the construction of a new laundry room
in the proximity of the maternity ward.


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Issue Fb


Clinton Foundation
continues support of
Antigua and Barbuda's
fight against HIV/AIDS

Antigua and Barbuda will
continue to receive technical assistance
from the Clinton Foundation in
collaboration with the Harvard Medical
School.

This was the indication given by
the two-member team Dr. Christina Kim
and Lisa Hirschhorn, who were recently in
Antigua conducting an OECS Regional
Coordinating Mechanism Assessment on
the HIV/AIDS Care, Support and
Treatment Programme.

During the meeting with Health
personnel which included the Clinical
Care Team and members of the AIDS
Secretariat, a number of areas were
highlighted, so as to get a better
understanding as to how the care, support
and treatment programme is being
executed.

These included the needs of
persons living with HIV/AIDS and their
challenges, pregnant women who are HIV
positive, medication, counselling, home
base visits and the training of
pharmacists, doctors and other health
personnel who have direct management
with Persons Living With HIV/AIDS.

The main thrust of the Clinton
Foundation is also to work in collaboration
with other agencies such as the University
of the West Indies CHART Programme, to
offer affordable Anti-Retroviral Drugs
(ARV) to countries, so that they in turn
can offer these to persons living with
HIV/AIDS.

At present there are 36 persons
who are receiving the anti-retroviral drugs
from this control care, support and
treatment programme in Antigua and
Barbuda.


AIDS Programme Manager Mrs.
Janet Weston in her report announced that
23 new cases of HIV positives were
recorded between January and September
2004.

Mrs. Weston also spoke of the HIV
Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)
Sites that have been set up at several
Health Centres. The centres offering the
service are All Saints, Clare Hall, Browne's
Avenue, St. John's, and Johnson's Point
Health Centres. The Voluntary Counselling
and Testing can also be done at the AIDS
Secretariat and the Antigua Planned
Parenthood Association (APPA).

From 1985 to September 2004
there were 478 reported cases of HIV in
Antigua and Barbuda. Of this total 131
persons have since died of AIDS related
illnesses. There were 92 males and 39
females.


Dialysis Unit at Holberton
gets new equipment

The Medical Benefits Scheme has
purchased a new Dialysis Machine and a
Reverse Osmosis Plant for the Dialysis Unit
at the Holberton Hospital in order to
increase its capacity.

At present, there are four dialysis
machines at the Unit. The first three
machines were donated by the Chairman of
the Stanford Group Mr. R. Allen Stanford,
when the Unit was established in July, 1997.
The other machine was donated by a well
known Antiguan businessman Mr. George
John.

Dialysis treatment is for patients
with end-stage renal disease/kidney failure,
which is mainly caused by uncontrolled
hypertension and diabetes

The Dialysis Unit currently
accommodates 22 patients three times per


week with each person receiving
dialysis treatment for an average of
three and a half hours per session.

A Senior Health Official
revealed that dialysis treatment is very
costly. The Health Official explained
that for one person per year it costs
EC$63,434.00 in consumables only.
These include needles, dialysis fluids
and other medication. That amount
does not include costs for the
maintenance of the Unit's equipment,
machines, staffing and other
expenditures.

In the meantime, the Dialysis
Unit will be undergoing renovation work
shortly.

This was announced by the
Hospital Administrator, Mr. Gary
Thomas, who also said that the
estimated cost for the renovation work
to be carried out by the Holberton
Restoration Committee, is
EC$28,000.00.

Mr. Thomas said that so far
EC$20,000.00 has been collected for
the project from two civic minded non-
profit organizations.

He said the Antigua and
Barbuda Renal Society has donated
EC$10,000.00 towards the
improvement of the dialysis unit.

The other $10,000.00 was
raised from guests' donations at Dr R.
A Walwyn and Mrs Myra Walwyn 50th
Wedding Anniversary celebration and
presented to the Society of Friends of
the Holberton Hospital which donated
the funds to assist with the upgrade of
the Renal Dialysis Unit at the Hospital.


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IuN 9 Frr2


Hospital Administrator Gary
Thomas lauded both organizations for
their contributions and encouraged the
general public to fully support the Antigua
and Barbuda Renal Society and the
Society of Friends of the Holberton
Hospital in their future fund-raising efforts.

The Society of Friends of the
Holberton Hospital has been associated
with Holberton for many years and
continues to make immeasurable
contributions to the institution from its
fund raising efforts.





Antigua and Barbuda
strengthens ties
with Mexico

Relations between Antigua and
Barbuda and Mexico were further
strengthened when Her Excellency Mrs.
Luz Elena Bueno presented her
credentials to Governor General Sir
James B. Carlisle on 14th February .

In presenting her credentials,
Ambassador Bueno assured the
Governor General of the high regard in
which her country holds Antigua and
Barbuda and expressed the desire to
develop a formal mechanism for
cooperation between the two countries.

Prior to her visit to Government
House, Ambassador Bueno paid a
courtesy call on Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs Baldwin
Spencer. The Prime Minister took the
opportunity to express appreciation for
Mexico's recent donation of twenty-six
scholarships to the people of Antigua and
Barbuda

PM Spencer also expressed his
admiration for President Vicente Fox's


administration and his accomplishments
since coming to office in 2000. The Prime
Minister alluded to the similarities between
the two countries in that like his UPP
administration President Fox came to
office after waging a campaign against
corruption and pledging to dismantle the
existing bureaucratic structure which he
described as corrupt and inefficient.

In response Ambassador Bueno
acknowledged the accomplishments of the
new UPP administration and the challenges
that it was encountering in executing the
necessary changes. She again invited the
Prime Minister to call on her country for
technical assistance whenever and
wherever necessary.

While in Antigua the Mexican
Ambassador also met Senior Ambassador
Sir Ramez Hadeed and her counterpart
Ambassador Joan H. Underwood. During
that meeting Ambassador Bueno presented
an outline of Mexico's programme of
cooperation for development and
communicated her country's commitment to
fast tracking a programme of assistance for
Antigua. Ambassador Underwood has been


tasked with following through on this
initiative.

Ambassador Bueno's visit
was followed closely by the arrival of a
Mexican technical team which
collaborated with the Ministries of
Education and Foreign Affairs and
selected the twenty-six students who
will shortly take up the scholarships in
Mexico.



EDUCATION


Government to
establish Antigua and
Barbuda Institute of
Continuing Studies

The Government of Antigua
and Barbuda, through the Ministry of
Education, will later this year establish
the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of
Continuing Studies (ABICS).


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Prime Mi.ster /ene r anm m/basMador Biiemo n'it A n~masi orj aH Unter'tmo
and Sr. A r/wsaor Rainez Haded








I F r


Coordinator of Technical Studies
in the Ministry of Education Reginald
Peterson said the initiative will allow
interested persons to attain the skills
necessary to make themselves more
marketable throughout the world.

Mr. Peterson, who was at the
time attending the Board of Education
Exhibition of Works at the Multi-Purpose
Centre, made it clear that the Antigua and
Barbuda Institute of Continuing Studies
(ABICS) will be established to facilitate
the ongoing education and training of
nationals and other residents. This
programme is expected to commence in
September and will offer a wide variety of
courses.

Mr. Peterson said that ultimately
the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of
Continuing Studies expects to move on to
offering first degree studies.


Minister of Education says
Finance and General
Purposes Committee
meeting a success

At a recent Finance and General
Purposes Committee meeting in Jamaica,
Minister of Education Bertrand Joseph
said the most important report was that of
the UWI Task Force on the Liberalization
of Higher Education and its impact on the
UWI and Tertiary Education in the region.

The report which was prepared
by Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of
Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, Hilary
Beckles, looks at the question of higher
education in the Caribbean, in the context
of the General Agreement on Trade in
Services (GATS) and the World Trade
Organization (WTO). The report also
calls for the harmonization of
Governments approach in dealing with
the delivery of educational services by
UWI.


Challenges were also looked at
and the whole aspect of higher education
institutions invading the Caribbean or
UWI's space. Out of this, regional
governments were urged to not only
agree on a regional approach like the
WTO negotiations, but also national
strategies that will take the UWI into
account as the regional university, and a
partner to national tertiary institutions.




Antigua and Barbuda
deposits CCJ Instruments
with CARICOM Secretariat

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer
has deposited Antigua and Barbuda's
Instruments of Accession and Ratification
of the Caribbean Court of Justice with the
CARICOM Secretariat.

As part of the process towards
the full implementation of the Caribbean
Court of Justice CCJ, countries within
CARICOM must deposit various
instruments pertaining to the body passed
in their respective Houses of Parliament,
to bring the agreement establishing the
CCJ into force.

While in Suriname for the 16th
Inter-Sessional Meeting of Heads of the
Conference of the Caribbean Community
Prime Minister Spencer presented to the
Chairman and Secretary General of
CARICOM President Runaldo Ronald
Venetiaan and Dr. Edwin Carrington, the
following instruments of Accession and
Ratification:

Revised Agreement establishing the
CCJ Trust Fund

-Protocol on the status, privileges and
immunities of the CCJ and the Regional
Judicial and Legal Service Commission

- Agreement Establishing the CCJ


Prime Minister Spencer presenting t(!e
Instruments to Presibent Venetixan.
Amnassabor Co(in MN.rNoc (eft) and Dr
Eb~lin Carrington witnessed the event

- Protocol to the agreement establishing
the CCJ relating to the Juridical
Personality and Legal Capacity of the
court.

Antigua and Barbuda has only
signed on to the CCJ in its Original
Jurisdiction, with a referendum and two-
thirds majority in the House of
Representatives needed for the country
to adopt the court in its Appellate
Jurisdiction.

In the exercise of its original
jurisdiction, the CCJ will be discharging
the functions of an international tribunal
applying rules of international law in
respect of the interpretation and
application of the Treaty. In this regard,
the CCJ would be performing functions
like the European Court of Justice, the
European Court of First Instance, the
Andean Court of Justice and the
International Court of Justice. In short, the
proposed CCJ is intended to be a hybrid
institution a municipal court of last resort
and an international court with
compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction in
respect of the interpretation and
application of the Treaty.


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Isu No9 Fbury20


BARBUDA
Barbuda gets Reverse
Osmosis Plant

On the 21st February Prime
Minister Baldwin Spencer commissioned
a Reverse Osmosis Plant in Barbuda
allowing the residents to have pipe-borne
water for the first time.

In addressing the gathering the
Prime Minister said that it is
incomprehensible that to this day, in the
sixth year of the 21st century, Barbuda,
just 20 miles away from Antigua, has been
left without pipe-borne water. He noted
that since coming into office his
administration has developed a new
relationship with the people of Barbuda
and that relationship has so far produced
benefits for the people of the island.

"The Commonwealth Review
team reported that Barbudans had
confirmed a vastly improved relationship
between Barbuda and Antigua. There is
an abundance of evidence that insofar as
Barbuda is concerned, my administration
is manifestly living up to the United
Progressive Party's Motto: People first.
This water treatment plant is a striking
example. In our Agenda for Change we


promised that this
water treatment plant
would be a high
priority. We made it a
high priority. From
today, with the United
Progressive Party
Less than a year in
office, Barbudans
have their own water
treatment plant," the
Prime Minister noted.

Prime Minster
Spencer said that with
the UPP
Administration it is a
S win-win situation for
the people of Antigua
and Barbuda. He pointed out that in less
than one year of his administration, it has
been proven that his government is about
performance. "My administration is all about


performance. That is why the material
is here for the road construction
programme which is about to begin in
Barbuda. The United Progressive
Party Administration is all about
performance. That is why we have
sourced funds for a new Secondary
School for Barbuda, which will open for
the new school year. My Administration
is performance driven. That is why
Cabinet has approved the funds for a
Barbuda Justice Complex. The
Barbuda Justice Complex will
accommodate a Magistrate's Court, a
Police Station and Police Quarters. We
promised you a better Barbuda. We
are giving you what it takes to make
Barbuda better," he concluded

The Reverse Osmosis Plant
has the capacity to produce over
20,000 gallons of water per day.


Fiennes Institute receives gifts
from Antiguan national
living in the UK

Mrs Debbie Matthias, in collaboration with Ms. Olivette Browne and
Rams' Shipping, recently donated much needed gifts to the Fiennes Institute in
Antigua and Barbuda.

Mrs Matthias outlined that she was informed by Ms. Browne that the
Carlisle Home in Ricksmansworth was about to close and that the beds and
furniture would be discarded. Knowing that the Fiennes Institute could make
good use of these items, she and her husband John journeyed to the Home to
ascertain that the beds and furniture were worth sending home. In all, she
received nine zimmer frames, ten single beds with base and a box of disposable
commodes and urinals. These were shipped, free of charge, to Antigua and
Barbuda by Rams' Shipping.

In a letter dated 4th February, 2005 to Mrs Matthias, the Master of the
Fiennes Institute offered utmost thanks to her and all her colleagues for the
generous gift package. "Words" he said, "will not be enough to express our
appreciation but can assure you that your efforts will not go in vain". He
promised her that the items "will go a long way in caring for the elderly."

For her part, she is extremely grateful to Ms. Olivette Browne and family,
the Hornsey Moravian Church, her husband John and Rams' Shipping for all
their assistance and hard work.


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I F r


I/1 P'e 'r S r /d i f ri


Antigua and Barbuda and
Chile move to closer
cooperation

Prime Minister of Antigua and
Barbuda Baldwin Spencer and President
of Chile Ricardo Lagos Escobar have
pledged to deepen bilateral relations
between both countries.

Prime Minister Spencer and
President Lagos while in Georgetown,
Guyana for the opening of the CARICOM
Secretariat Headquarters, held high level
discussions on a number of areas of
cooperation.

During the discussions, Prime
Minister Spencer informed President
Lagos that it was very significant that he
had journeyed to Guyana to participate in
the ceremonial launching of the
CARICOM Secretariat, which was a
symbol of Caribbean unity.

President Lagos said that what
CARICOM had accomplished was very
significant and extended an invitation to


Prime Minister Spencer to make an official
visit to Chile.

On matters of cooperation,
President Lagos indicated that the Chilean
candidacy for the Secretary General of the
Organisation of American States OAS was
a national candidacy, supported by all
political parties in Chile. Prime Minister
Spencer and his CARICOM colleagues
addressed the issue during the Inter-
sessional Meeting last week in Suriname.

Antigua and Barbuda and Chile in
January of this year commenced
discussions on ways of collaborating in the
areas of Agriculture and language training.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer initiated the
discussion last June while attending the
European Union-Latin America and the
Caribbean Summit in Mexico. Since then
Antigua and Barbuda has submitted five
project proposals for consideration by the
Chileans. Based on the preliminary review
of these proposals, both countries are
optimistic that a mutually beneficial system
of technical cooperation can be
implemented within the short-term.


Ministry of Tourism hosts
Trade in Tourism Services
Workshop

As the Caribbean States
approach imminent deadlines in a
number of global trade negotiations
including the World Trade
Organisation/General Agreement on
Trade in Services (WTO/GATS), the
African, Caribbean, Pacific/European
Union (ACP/EU) negotiations for
Economic Partnership Agreements
(EPAs) and the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA), it is critical that
tourism stakeholders in both the private
sector and the Government are fully
aware of the impact such economic
arrangements will have on the tourism
industry.

The Ministry of Tourism and
Civil Aviation sought the assistance of
the Caribbean Tourism Organisation in
conducting a two-day workshop to
enlighten participants on the
implications for Caribbean tourism of
these regional trade agreements.

On 14th February the
workshop commenced with top
Government officials in trade, tourism
and foreign affairs, as well as
managers of major hotels and tourism
attractions at the Antigua and Barbuda
Hospitality Training Institute.

Minister of Tourism, Harold
Lovell, who spearheaded the effort to
stage this workshop in Antigua, said
that the exercise helped to create an
informed partnership of public and
private sector stakeholders with a
sound knowledge of the language and
issues relating to trade in tourism
services. "Of most importance is that
Antiguans and Barbudans are better
equipped to function and do business
in the liberalised global economy."


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Isu No9 Fbury20


Lorraine Headley, Coordinator of
the workshop indicated that interest in the
workshop had been immense. The
seminar was facilitated by Mr. Lawrence
Placide, Director of the International Trade
Negotiations Unit of the Trinidad &
Tobago Chamber of Industry and
Commerce, and Jan Yves Remy, Services
Analyst of the Caribbean Regional
Negotiating Machinery.


Port Charge not responsible
for recent state of Cruise
Affairs!

The $2.50 port charge which was
recently the focus of much debate as it
related to the future of Antigua and
Barbuda's Cruise Tourism Industry,
cannot be blamed for the present state of
affairs, when scrutinizing the "Summer
Fall" Cruise phenomenon.

This was signaled by Tourism
Minister Harold Lovell during a recently
held press conference to relay information
on his most recent mission to Miami,
Florida to speak with officials of the FCCA
(Florida Caribbean Cruise Association).
The Minister noted that this suggestion
has been "thrown out of the ring" of
possible initiatives geared towards
boosting profits in the Cruise Sector.

Minister Lovell backed by other
partners within the Cruise Tourism Sector
revealed the details of the phenomenon,
such as "an ever increasing number of
cruise liners are now departing from US
mainland ports instead of the
more traditional San Juan
departure (this taking the
vessels out of the region)".
As a result of this trend
during the summer months,
cruise vessels are now
migrating to the
Mediterranean area and
even Alaska.


This could be attributed to a
number of factors ranging from the merger
or "buy-out" of various cruise lines by a
single entity because of bankruptcy or
other such economic trends, to current
market situations and the demand for
specific destinations, varying definitively
from season to season.

As may have been recently
implied, the $2.50 Port Charge IS NOT a
factor that contributes to this phenomenon.

According to Cameron Frazier,
Director of Antigua Pier Group Ltd,
(another cruise sector partner), by the end
of Sea-trade 2004 to be held in March,
precise announcements will be made with
regard to the success of efforts to lobby
more vessels to make the eastern
Caribbean their area of call during the
summer months. Already one vessel has
been secured to make calls to Antigua
during this period.

Tourism Minister Lovell pointed
out that "the Eastern Caribbean has to
address the problem collectively...the
idea now is to work with the Cruise lines to
arrange long term agreements for long
term growth."

Antigua and Barbuda's Cruise
Tourism Industry has recorded extra-
ordinary growth for the year 2004, with
approximately 522,743 passengers
arriving on island. This is the impetus for
the major efforts being embarked upon by
the Tourism Ministry in negotiating for
additional cruise ship visits during peak
periods and off-seasons geared towards
surpassing this mark in 2005.


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