Group Title: Official newsletter of the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Title: Official newsletter
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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: November/December 2005
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Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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NE SLETT ER



1 THE ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA HIGH COMMISSION
ISSUE No.105 November/December 2005

0 n the 21st November Prime Minister the Honourable Baldwin Spencer
arrived in London on his way to the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting in Malta. Before departing for Malta Prime Minister
Spencer joined his other CARICOM Heads in a meeting with the Prime
Minister of the UK Tony Blair at Number 10 Downing Street.

Prime Minister Spencer, who expressed satisfaction with the meeting, said
that some of the issues affecting CARICOM countries including crime and
security, debt cancellation and assistance in transiting from traditional trade
preferential economies to economies competing in an open market were
discussed in detail..
CARICOM Heabs wit, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Leaders stressed the importance of crime and security and praised the UK
for its role in assisting the region particularly, OECS countries, through the Regional Security System (RSS) mechanism. "This
mechanism has worked and we recognize the role played by the UK which has been supportive as it relates to training and the coast
guard. We, however, believe that the UK should go beyond that and assist us in providing funding for the programme," PM Spencer
stated.

"We would very much appreciate if the UK can provide financial support for the RSS Air Wing Division which has served
the region well in drug interdictions and seizures and disaster relief The acquisition of equipment and training in the form of
developing middle management personnel in police forces are urgent needs," he added.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer also outlined that the leaders spoke on the issue of debt of small countries. "As far as
CARICOM member states are concerned, although we are among the most indebted countries in the world, because of our middle
income status, we are not given the benefit of debt cancellation under the regime known as the Heavily Indebted Poorest Countries
(HIPC) Trust Fund," he outlined.

"We fully appreciate and laud the efforts of the UK and G8 countries in supporting Africa in respect of debt cancellation
and believe that a similar arrangement should be put in place for CARICOM. The record show that we rank among the most
indebted countries in the world," PM Spencer said.

During the discussions with Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Heads also addressed the INSIDE
UK assisting CARICOM with the establishment of the Development Fund and Agency that
would form part of the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. Prime Minister attends CHOGM
"CARICOM countries are in transition from trade preferential countries to one relying on 'n Malta (pages 6 to 7, 9)
services which require a number of mechanisms be put in place to make the transition an easy
Antigua and Barbuda voted Best
one. We must ensure that we are able to survive in an open market, "PM Spencer concluded. Wedding Island of the Year (pages 6
to 7)
The Commonwealth Heads Meeting addressed issues such as the outcome of the
United Nations 2005 World Summit, the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Corporation and Minister of finance and the
the Promotion of the Commonwealth's Fundamental Political Values. While in Malta, Prime Economy heads delegation to WTO
.ong Kong Ministerial Conference
Minister Spencer and other Commonwealth Heads was the special guests at receptions g ng Msea conference
hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the II, Commonwealth Secretary General Don
McKinnon, Prime Minister of Malta Dr. Lawrence Gonzi and President of Malta H.E. Dr. 1 Machine readable passports to
Edward Fenech-Adami. be issued in January (page 16)

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A Christmas Message from His Excellency
Dr Carl Roberts, High Commissioner


As we approach the close of
2005, it is an appropriate time to reflect on
how a good and gracious Lord has
blessed us throughout the year. Though
it is also a time to reflect, we take time out
to rejoice on God's gifts to each of us and
pass on his love by sharing what we have
with those we come in contact.

We are reminded of the fragility of
life. In December 2004 around 200,000
persons, who might have made exciting
plans for Christmas celebrations, were
never to see the fruition of those plans.
Throughout the year, disaster after
disaster, reminded us that we are to
constantly and ardently pray for the safe-
keeping of our families, friends and fellow
citizens. Let us therefore not forget all
those who have suffered or have been


impacted by any of these traumatic
events.

The God we serve constantly
reminds us of the hope of tomorrow. If we
trust in him, prayfully ask of him, he will
provide our daily needs. Let us therefore
ask for wisdom to be granted to those
who have been chosen to lead us
whether at work, in Government or
otherwise. May we be constantly that his
all-seeing eyes oversees us and his
welcoming arms are always there to
receive us. Let us live our lives fully
assured that if called upon we may give a
proud account of our stewardship.

As you read this newsletter, you
will indeed see how busy your
representatives have been. Pray for
God's protection and guidance in the
coming year.

I take this opportunity on behalf of
my wife and family, entire staff at the
Mission and on my own behalf to wish
each of you a Blessed Christmas and a
Happy, Rewarding New Year. May God
continue his blessings on each and every
one of you.








Dr Carl Roberts
High Commissioner








I %i I I


Mvinster oT tiance ano tve Economy,
Dr Errol Cort

Finance and the Economy
Minister chairs Inaugural
Meeting of the Customs
Renewal Steering
Committee

The Minister of Finance and
the Economy, Dr. L. Errol Cort recently
chaired the Inaugural Meeting of the
Customs Renewal Steering Committee.

The Customs Renewal
Programme of Antigua and Barbuda is
a complete transformation of both the
public and private administration of
import and export trade, and
international arrivals and departures of
travellers. The Customs Renewal
Programme was launched on 1st
September 2005.

The Committee comprises Mr.
Raphael Brown, Comptroller of the
Customs & Excise Division, Mrs. Gaye
Hechme, General Manager of the
Industrial Development Board, Mr.
Joseph Sealey, Industrial Advisor (Ag)
of the Industry & Commerce Division,


Dr. Patrick Lay, Director of the t .
Information Technology
Center, Mr. Clarvis Joseph,
Chairman of the Antigua Port
Authority, Mr. Stephen
Joseph, Managing Director of
Bargain Centre, Mr. Nathan
Dundas, Manager of Bryson
Shipping, and Mr. Wilbur
Edwards, Director of
Network/Sales LIAT. The
Committee was joined by Mr. Prime Minister Spencer secondm from left) joined ot-er
Winston Bailey, Customs leaders at the OECS Meeting in Angtilla
Renewal Coordinator, Mr.
George Brown Member of
the Customs Renewal Team, and Mrs. OECS Heads urged to
Gloria Reid, CARTAC Consultant to the Reform Tax System
Customs Renewal Programme.
The 42nd Meeting of Heads of
Dr. Court briefed the Steering of 42nd t ing of was
Dr. Cort briefed the Steering Government of the OECS was held at
Committee on its role to provide the
the Malliouhana Hotel, Meads Bay,
guiding principles for the new Customs A lla eary November
Law and procedures that will
fundamentally re-define the relationship
between the Customs administration e Dng e st das
session Heads looked at the OECS
and the trading community; approve the economies in external trade
implementation plan and monitor its negotiations in an effort to formulate
progress; and, to provide advice on
ways to deal with the challenges of
changes required to the plan. Mr. Bailey WTO regulations on international trade
and Mrs. Reid provided presentations and transactions.
and transactions.
on the features of the Customs Renewal
Programme, the details of the During the discussions it was
t During the discussions it was
implementation plan, and progress to pointed out that countries within the
dte. OECS needed to move quickly to
n is reform its tax systems in order to
In his concluding remarks, Dr.
sCort encouraged the Committee maintain the stability of their fiscal
Cort encouraged the Committee
members to be proactive in their
approach to this important programme. Economies in the OECS rely
He pointed out that each member was heavily on revenue from international
chosen for their unique perspective on trade and transactions (import duties),
trade and on the economic growth of more so from other dutis and charges
more so from other duties and charges
Antigua and Barbuda. (ODCs). In member states of the
The Committee members OECS, the ODCs comprise at the very
least consumption tax and customs
expressed their support for the tax. The reliance on ODCs has
programme and commented on its
Sobecome a problem, given that they are
timeliness in light of CSME and the deemed as illegal under WTO
opportunity presented for Antigua and regulations.
Barbuda to become an even stronger
leader in the regional trading sphere. For Antigua and Barbuda, if
the consumption tax and customs tax


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4 GE Is e N 1


are successfully challenged in the WTO
it could mean the country losing 86
percent of its Revenue stream.

During the discussions Prime
Minister Spencer announced that his
country is in the process of reforming its
tax structure and is examining the
possibility of the introduction of a sales
tax. The Heads agreed that introducing
a sales tax or VAT are viable options
available to protect their revenue stream.

The Heads also looked at the
draft OECS Economic Union Treaty and
received a progress report on the work
of the Regional Coordinating
Mechanism for the HIV/AIDS Project.

AHTA commends
Tourism Ministry

The Antigua Hotels and Tourist
Association has congratulated and
complimented the Ministry of Tourism
for their bold initiative and foresight,
approximately a year and half ago,
when they engaged Condor in
discussions which have now borne fruit.

According to Acting Chairman
of the AHTA Ted Isaac, the result is that
Condor has resumed weekly flights from
Frankfurt, Germany to Antigua and
Barbuda. "The Association also
congratulates Dr. Werner Giersch,
Honorary Consul for Germany, along
with the AHTA members for their tireless
efforts in coordinating a most impressive
marketing programme to support the
flight.

According to Isaac, the
Association was made aware that there
have been some detractors regarding
the programme. "We stand firmly
behind the Ministry in this venture as we
are confident that the residual benefits
will be seen by hotels, local vendors, car
rental companies, taxi drivers, local tour
operators, restaurateurs, souvenir


shops and duty free stores.
Spin-off benefits would include
increased visits to historical
sites and attractions and
increased patronage of cultural
and theme events," he said.

Isaac said that the
reality is that the airline
industry has changed
considerably and this


Dr Ma


dynamism will continue into the
future. He said that as a result,
the game is being played on a different
playing field, where subsidies to these
companies have become the norm,
particularly throughout the Caribbean.
He also pointed out that the value of the
subsidies should not only be measured
by Government's guarantees to the
airlines, but must be looked at from the
entire trickle down effect that this
creates.

"For the apprehensive-minded,
it should be understood that the
Government will only be liable for the
unsold seats guaranteed. However, we
wish to strongly suggest that with the
robust marketing efforts to date, and
which will continue, the AHTA remains
confident that the entire programme will
be successful. It is our hope that
Antiguans will embrace this initiative and
extend to our German guests the usual
warm Antiguan hospitality," Isaac noted.

Earlier this year, Mr. Axel
Bulthaupt, a prominent German
Television personality, was in Antigua
along with a film crew that filmed various
aspects of our local culture, including
Auntie Esther's Sunday morning
breakfast. The 30-minute programme,
called "Bulthaupt in Antigua", is part of
a travel series produced since 1996,
and will be aired at prime-time on
January 1st 2006. A


insoor an? Counsellor song buin0g discussions
on Information Tecbnofogy

Information Minister
discusses cooperation
with the People's Republic
of China

Minister of State responsible
for Information and Broadcasting Dr.
Edmond Mansoor held discussions
recently with senior officials of the
Chinese Information Ministry in an
effort to further promote mutual
understanding and develop friendly
relations between the governments of
the People's Republic of China and
Antigua and Barbuda.

Counsellor Song Ronghua
and Deputy Director Wang Zhiquan of
the Information Department of Foreign
Affairs Ministry of China also held
discussions with Dr. Mansoor on
examining the possibilities of
cooperation and exchange in the news
field between the two countries.

Dr. Mansoor told the
diplomats that his government believes
in a free press and is currently working
at rationalizing, re-branding and re-
imaging the state owned ABS Radio
and Television making it performance
driven.

The Information Minister also
discussed areas of training, technical
cooperation and sharing experiences in
information and media management.


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Ie 15


establishment of a Regional
Language Centre in Antigua and
Barbuda to facilitate the
teaching of the Chinese
languages.

Merchant, during his remarks,
also highlighted the close ties
between both countries and
stated that the government of
Antigua and Barbuda will
(f to r) Deputy director Wang, Director of Communications continue to strengthen those
Maurice Mercant anb Counse[for Song ties.


The Minister updated the
diplomats on progress being made in
Information Technology development in
the country, sailing week and the annual
carnival festivities.

Counsellor Song said that he is
looking forward to discussing with his
superiors the proposals put forward by
the Information Minister and extended
an invitation for the Minister to pay an
official visit to China. Minister Mansoor
will prepare a detailed proposal on the
possible areas of cooperation for
delivery to the Chinese officials.

The Chinese Diplomats also
held meetings with members of the
Government's Information Division and
Media Congress to discuss ways of
developing cooperation in journalism.

The meeting chaired by
Director of Communications Maurice
Merchant, highlighted the need for the
people of both Antigua and Barbuda and
China to learn more about each other
since there already exists such strong
economic ties.

The media grouping suggested
media group exchanges and the need to
bridge the language barrier between
both countries and it was pointed out
that the establishment of language
programmes should be explored.
Merchant outlined that he is confident
that the government would support the


"The relationship between
Antigua and Barbuda and the People's
Republic of China has been one of
mutual cooperation and understanding.
The economic relationship is at an all
time high with investments in Antigua
and Barbuda now largely through grants
and not loan arrangements," he said.

"China is an important partner
of Antigua and Barbuda. There exists a
strong, constructive relationship
between our two countries. We fully
support the basis principle of "One
Country, two Systems" which promotes
cooperation in various fields between
mainland China and its regions,"
Merchant concluded.

Counsellor Song also noted
that Antigua and Barbuda was the first
country in the region to establish
diplomatic relations with China and his
government cherishes this. Both sides
agreed to maintain strong
communication links.

Telecommunications
Division continues
discussions on
communications
liberalization


The
Discussion
Communication


Second Roundtable
on Information
Technology organized


by the Telecommunications Division of
the Ministry of Information,
Broadcasting and Telecommunications
was conducted recently centring on the
Draft National ICT policy and issues
surrounding the full liberalization of the
telecommunications market.

The session was moderated
by Delreo Newman,
Telecommunications Consultant and
was attended by stakeholders in the
Information Technology field in Antigua
and Barbuda.

Minister responsible for Information
Technology Dr. Edmond Mansoor
initiated the roundtable discussions
weeks ago and had been holding on-
going discussions with Cable and
Wireless' CEO Davidson Charles on
the issue of an early end to the
exclusive monopoly agreement that
Cable and Wireless has over
international direct dial access.

"We are committed to opening
up the telecommunications market, but
there are a number of issues that must
be considered, including
interconnection, competition regulation
and regulatory authority and universal
device access," Dr. Mansoor noted.

Minister Mansoor said the
current Telecommunications Act which
dates back to 1951 is totally archaic
and does not meet the robust
requirements of a modern
telecommunications market.

It was also disclosed that the
Government has indicated to Cable
and Wireless that the exclusive
agreement (which was negotiated by
the previous administration for a twenty
five year period which expires in 2012)
will expire on December 31, 2005.

"The exclusive monopoly
arrangement has prevented the market
growth of Antigua and Barbuda's


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Ie 15


international access. We must create an
environment that will permit greater
access to broadband technology at
cheaper rates. In this regard, the landing
of additional submarine fibre optic cable
systems is an important component in
the thrust to developing Antigua and
Barbuda as a Regional Centre of
Excellence in Information
Communication Technology," he
concluded.



Foreign Ministers meeting
a success for Caribbean
Countries





Prime Minister Baldwin
Spencer hailed the two day
Commonwealth Foreign Ministers
Meeting in Malta a success for small
developing states.

Prime Minister Spencer who
chaired the Session of the meeting
dealing with the Implementation of Small
States Agenda, said that a number of
issues were reviewed and it was
emphasized that in this world of
economic, political and social
transformation, the problem of small
states such as Antigua and Barbuda
must be taken into account as we move
forward. He outlined that the CARICOM
Foreign Ministers present were very
strong in their view that special and
differential treatment must be given to
small island states and other small
nations if they are to play a significant
role in this new economic dispensation.

"We were very strong that the
communique coming out of the Foreign
Ministers Meeting must clearly highlight
that special and differential treatment
must be given to small island states. I


can report that we have been successful
in ensuring that the decisions of this
conference will be so communicated
where special and differential treatment
must now be an integral part of the
deliberations going into the Hong Kong
Ministerial with the World Trade
Organisation WTO in December," PM
Spencer noted.

"We are satisfied that this was
a significant break through because it
was felt that reference to special and
differential treatment must not be in the
communique. The CARICOM
delegations all spoke with one united
voice with other small states supporting
that concept as well," he added.

"The question of how small
island states are going to play a
meaningful role in new dispensation was
a major topic for discussion and the
Caribbean countries were able to point
out that our contribution to the issues of
peace and security, stability and
democracy far outweighs our size and
resources and if we are to continue to
contribute significantly then we must be
treated in such a way to make the
transition from traditional economies to
the new economy which the WTO is
calling on us to adopt," PM Spencer
pointed out.


He said that the Caribbean
can make the transition but need time
and special and differential treatment
and the support of developed countries
and international agencies and
organizations that have developmental
agendas.

"The vulnerability of these
small states was clearly recognized
and even though we are considered
middle income countries and therefore
our per capital income is too high to
allow for other considerations, we were
able to make the point which was
accepted that we are more vulnerable
to internal, external and natural shocks
to our respective economies that
require attention over and above the
fact that we are considered middle
income countries," he said.

PM Spencer continued, "We
believe that the message got over very
well indeed and that the
Commonwealth as an institution now
has a responsibility to take the
message to the WTO and other
international organizations supporting
the claim for justice, equality and a
level playing field in the world economic
arena for small developing countries
such as Antigua and Barbuda."


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Prime Minister Spencer (tourt rom lett) at tWe Foreign Ministers' Meeting.
Hig Commissioner Dr Carl Roberts seated bebinb tbe Prime Minister.








Ie 15


He made clear that the issue is
one of human rights for small states
because it is a human right for small
states to be given the opportunity to
develop. "It is a right that we are
claiming that we have and we are not
begging and preaching to the
international community. We are saying
that we have a right to be given the
opportunity to develop and the avenues
should be given for us to do so. We
hope we have sent the signal that small
developing states would not stand idly
by and allow our countries to be
marginalized by the world community,"
he concluded.

The Prime Minister of the
Antigua and Barbuda felt that the
meeting ended on a high note and
paved the way for the Commonwealth
Heads Meeting. CHOGM received the
communique coming out of the Foreign
Ministers Meeting which set the pace for
their deliberations which took the form of
retreats and executive sessions.

The Foreign Ministers over the
two days also addressed issues of
peace and security, terrorism,
combating corruption, bridging the
digital divide, the Millennium
Development Goals and investment
among others.

Internet Gaming giant
BetonSports expands
operations in Antigua and
Barbuda

Following on the heels of the
Budget presentation in Parliament on
Wednesday November 30th, 2005,
David Carruthers, CEO of BetonSports
announced to the Government his
company's firm commitment to expand
its operations in Antigua and Barbuda.

"The Board of Directors of
BetonSports at its Annual General


Meeting, which was held on December
2, 2005 in Antigua, took the decision to
expand its marketing and research
development unit in Antigua. This will
initially create 25 new jobs," a statement
from the company outlined.

Mr. Carruthers indicated that
his board's decision to expand the
company's base in Antigua was as a
result of the Government's commitment
to the industry and the proactive stance
the Government, through the Minister of
Finance has taken to win-back gaming
companies. The CEO stated that the
Minister's "Win-Back Initiative" held in
San Jose Costa Rica signalled to him
and the Board that Antigua and Barbuda
is being proactive in branding itself as a
well-regulated premiere i-gaming
jurisdiction with regulations which are of
the highest international standards and
best practices. As a result, the Board
deemed that Antigua and Barbuda
would fit their strategic plans for future
development.

The Minister of Finance and
the Economy was very pleased by this
announcement and indicated to the
CEO that the Government was
encouraged by the decision of
BetonSports to expand operations in
Antigua and Barbuda. The Minister
underscored the point that the
Government remains very committed to
the future growth of Internet Gaming in
the jurisdiction and expressed the
Governments appreciation to the
company for positively demonstrating its
commitment to Antigua and Barbuda
and looked forward to the company
increasing its complement in the future.

The Director of Gaming, Ms.
Kaye McDonald, is very pleased with
the recent decision taken by
BetonSports and stated that the initial
expansion will bring the companies
Antigua staff compliment to about 38
which is positive as it will create
employment opportunities for a young


and dynamic labour pool. She further
stated that FSRC, Division of Gaming
welcomes this expansion as there are
recommendations being proposed by
the Division to ensure, through
regulatory measures, that gaming
companies licensed by the state to
conduct Interactive Gaming and
Interactive Wagering have a physical
operating presence in Antigua and
Barbuda.

BetonSports is one of the
largest on-line sports book and casinos
in the world and is a publicly listed
company on the Alternative Investment
Market (AIM), which is a part of the
London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Presently, most of the company's
operations are based in San Jose,
Costa Rica.

Antigua and Barbuda
voted Best Wedding
Island of the Year

The twin island destination of
Antigua and Barbuda was recently
voted "Best Wedding Island of the
Year" by Caribbean World Magazine at
their 11th International Caribbean
World Awards in Britain.

The British travel and lifestyle
monthly, Caribbean World Magazine,
honours leaders of excellence in
hospitality and service in a variety of
categories including Best Honeymoon
Island, Best Luxury Resort, and Best
Sailing and Yachting Island. Winners
are chosen by the magazine's readers.

Although Antigua and
Barbuda remains untouched and
unspoiled, it boasts international
acclaim: World class sailing and diving,
sensational resorts, and premier
cuisine making the destination one of
the world's top wedding and
honeymoon tourism destinations. The
pristine beauty of this tropical paradise


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Ie 15


gives couples a chance to escape from
everyday life while the soothing trade-
winds spread romance all over the
island.

Antigua and Barbuda offers the
perfect setting for romance to flourish
whether couples seek privacy, beauty or
adventure in their destination wedding
locale. Betrothed couples may opt to
exchange vows on one of our 365
sugary white sand beaches as the lucid
turquoise water gently laps upon the
shores. Or, the true romantics may opt
to say "I do" against a backdrop of the
most breathtaking sunset-- made even
more spectacular by the legendary
green flash that accompanies that last
dip of the sun.

Many of the resorts on the
islands offer couples the expertise of an
on-site coordinator who arranges all
aspects of the ceremony or honeymoon,
thereby eliminating much of the pre-
nuptial stress many betrothed couples
experience. A variety of packages
offered can create the perfect intimate
or extravagant event.


Millennium Naturalization
Act ruled Constitutional

Justice Louise Esther Blenman
has dismissed the case brought by Mr.
Glentis Goodwin Chairman of the
Organization for National Development
Party ONDP against Prime Minister
Baldwin Spencer and Attorney General
Justin Simon, seeking to invalidate
Section 3 (1) of the Millennium
Naturalization Act of 2004 which
provides for the acquisition of Antigua
and Barbuda citizenship by persons who
were lawfully resident in Antigua and
Barbuda on and since the first day of
January 2000.

Attorney Ralph Francis who
represented Glentis Goodwin in the


matter claimed that Section 3 (1) of the
Millennium Act infringes section 114 (1)
c (ii) and Section 116 (1) of the
Constitution, making it invalid and
unconstitutional.

It was further claimed that the
constitution provides for the
entrenchment of Section 114 and
Parliament cannot amend the provisions
without confirming to the dictates that
deal with entrenched provisions. He
noted that the effect of the section being
entrenched is to prevent parliament from
amending it without confirming to the
provision of the Constitution that
address the amendment of entrenched
provisions. He argued that in effect
parliament has amended section 114 of
the Constitution by enacting Section 3
(1) of the Millennium Act.

Learned Counsel Ralph
Francis further argued that Section 3 (1)
of the Millennium Act violates certain
section of the constitution by permitting
persons who are not Commonwealth
citizens to obtain citizenship of Antigua
and Barbuda in a short time as four and
a quarter years instead of a period of
seven years. This he said is a breach of
the Constitution.

In defense, Attorney General
Justin Simon Q.C. disagreed that the
Powers of Parliament to make laws for
the acquisition of citizenship in Antigua
and Barbuda are restricted as
contended for on behalf of Mr.
Goodwin. He advocated that Section
114 of the Constitution states the factors
that entitle a person to acquire
citizenship as of right, in Antigua and
Barbuda.

The material section provides
that a person who has been ordinarily
resident for a period of seven years and
person who have been domiciled in
Antigua and Barbuda for a period of
seven years are entitled to acquire
citizenship. He maintained that there is


nothing in section 114 which prescribes
that domicile and residency are the
only two qualifications for acquiring
citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda.

Elaborating further, the
Attorney General outlined that section
114 of the Constitution does not specify
how persons who are non-
commonwealth citizens may acquire
citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda. He
said that parliament is given the power
to pass laws to confer citizenship on
person who are not eligible under the
Constitution.

In arriving at her decision to
dismiss the case brought against the
Prime Minister and Attorney General,
Justice Blenman quoted from the
learned author Dr. Winston Anderson
in his book Elements of Private
International Law in which he gives
careful consideration to the issue of
Citizenship and provides a very helpful
exposition in stating that International
Law leaves it up to the states to
determine the conditions under which
they will grant citizenship to individuals
but that the rules governing the
acquisition and loss of nationality are to
be found, as would be expected, in the
Constitution.

In stating that Section 3 (1) of
the Millennium Act is constitutional,
Justice Blenman noted that she
accepts the submissions by the
Attorney General as they represent the
correct interpretation of the law.

Since the Millennium
Naturalization Act took effect on July
18, 2004 over 300 persons from
Commonwealth and non-
Commonwealth countries have
become citizens of Antigua and
Barbuda.


Seas st

U tings


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Isu N. 15


Ministev Magintey (secomb from riqbt) witb Ambassabor Davib Sbotil secondb from left)
ax6 cCiinese officials


Government moves to
complete Mount St. John
Medical Centre

Government is now moving
ahead swiftly to resume work on the
multi-million dollar Mount St John
Medical Centre, with completion date
set for the latter part of 2006.

Health Minister John Maginley
met Non-resident Ambassador to the
People's Republic of China Sir David
Shoul and several Chinese delegates to
discuss the work leading up to the
completion date.

Minister Maginley said the
discussion also centred on the
completion of the documentation of the
Export and Import Bank Loan of China
for the completion of the project.

The Minister further stated that
the contractors have confirmed that the
project should be completed within 10
months time. The Ministry of Health he
says is looking for the completion date
to be late September, early October
2006.

The Mount St. John's Hospital
will have a capacity of 187 beds and will
offer medical attention from a modern,
high-quality institution for everyone,


regardless of their
circumstances, providing
medical care and service.


economic
first class


The hospital was incorporated
under the Companies Act in 1998 and is
wholly owned by the Government of
Antigua and Barbuda. Government has
indicated that it intends to complete the
construction of the building but will not
be in a position to operate the facility.
Government has received proposals
from a number of organizations to
operate the facility.

CARICOM's Agenda
addressed at CHOGM
in Malta

Prime Minister of Antigua and
Barbuda has termed the recently
concluded Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting in Malta as a
success noting that two very important
issues relevant to CARICOM were
addressed. He said that multilateral
trade and the vulnerability of small
states were two of the issues which
were seriously deliberated on and
resulted in two powerful statements
being issued.

"I think that under the
circumstances, CARICOM could be
satisfied because the issues that we


wanted to bring to the fore at this
meeting took place and CARICOM
leaders were extremely active in the
deliberations and we played a
significant part in ensuring that we had
an input in these two important
declarations. From that point of view I
would want to believe that CARICOM is
feeling reasonably satisfied that we
have achieved our objectives," he said.

Prime Minister Spencer noted
that with respect to multilateral trade,
Heads made it clear that with the
accelerating influence of globalization,
trade issues can no longer be
negotiated in isolation and that human
security in its totality must be reflected
in the outcomes of multilateral trade
negotiations. He said that Heads
concluded that weak vulnerable small
states must benefit from an equitable
share in the universally available
opportunities provided through
international trade.

It was also pointed out that the
leaders called upon negotiators of
small developing states at the WTO
Ministerial Conference scheduled for
Hong Kong in December to be flexible
and to place priority on a genuinely
development-oriented negotiations
reaching agreement on all forms of
subsidies by 2010 and for a significant
improvement to market access by
developing and small states into the
developed countries.

The Prime Minster of Antigua
and Barbuda also showered praise on
Prime Minister of Jamaica P.J.
Patterson who announced at CHOGM
that it was his last meeting as he was
preparing to retire from active politics.

"It was an interesting
conference because one of the leading
figures in the Caribbean and the
Commonwealth made his final speech
at the meeting. P.J. Patterson has
made a significant contribution to the


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IA I I


deliberations. I want to compliment him
for the tremendous work that he has
done on behalf of Jamaica, CARICOM
and developing states throughout the
Commonwealth," PM Spencer said.

He said that Patterson, who
attended his first Commonwealth
meeting in the 1970, was a well known
international figure and has made
significant contributions to world affairs.
"I have had opportunities to work directly
with PJ and I have found him to be
genuine and committed about
developmental issues as they relate to
small states such as Antigua and
Barbuda. I wish him well as he prepares
to depart from direct political office," he
stated.

The next Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting will be
held in Uganda in 2007 while the 2009
meeting will be held in Trinidad and
Tobago.


Baptiste says more
resources needed to
combat crime

The Minister of Housing,
Culture & Social Transformation has
called for regional governments to help
equip the Regional Security Services
(RSS) with updated and modern
equipment to help combat drug
trafficking.

Minister Baptiste echoed these
sentiments during the graduation
exercise of the RSS Basic Seamanship
Course, which was recently held at
Camp Blizzard, base of the Antigua and
Barbuda Defence Force.

According to Minister Baptiste,
until receiving a brochure which outlines
the roles and functions of the RSS, he
was always sceptical over the large
budgets that were awarded to the


Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force.
Baptiste said that he is now convinced
that additional resources need to be
pumped into security to help combat
criminals, who are plying their trade with
state-of-the-art equipment.

To this end, Baptiste said that
RSS officials should boost their public
relations strategy.

"Whoever is responsible for
public relations in the region need to
begin to work. There should be
programmes on television explaining the
role of RSS and let the community know
the areas that are covered and the
police, army and custom officials are
apart of it."

The Minister of Social
Transformation said that he will
"encourage his Government to put more
money into the RSS and to encourage
the entire business community to look at
this area and to support it".

Over the past few weeks,
twenty-nine (29) service men from the
eight-member countries of RSS focused
on several topics including basic
seamanship, instructional training,
maritime operations and planning and
first aid.

This year's top student was PC
Bernard Titre of Dominica, who received
a plaque for his outstanding work.


inet Repositions APUA
in the Communications
Market

The introduction of inet, an
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
(ADSL) Internet service has
repositioned and reestablished the
Antigua Public Utilities Authority APUA
Telephones at the forefront of the


technological revolution in Antigua and
Barbuda.

Information Minister Senator
Dr. Edmond Mansoor during the launch
of the product said that the
unmistakable economic and technical
advantages of the digital subscriber
line technology, inet as APUA
Telephones has called it, has become
enormously popular as a broadband
access system for data transmission in
recent years.

"Due to the ever larger data
volumes on the public and private
networks, more and more carriers are
turning to technologies that can deliver
high bandwidths, even in the access
area," he explained.

The Minister further stated
that inet is the optimal choice, since it
supports both analogue telephone lines
and Digital lines.

He noted that as the internet
continues to gain rapidly in popularity,
many of today's telephone networks
are reaching their limits under modem
connections to Internet service
providers (ISPs), often for hours at a
time. He said there is a growing need
to unburden networks by providing
broadband DSL connections, some of
which already are in place.

Advantages of inet include:
leaving your internet
connected open and still use the phone
line for voice calls.
The speed is much higher
than a regular modem.
inet doesn't necessarily
require new wiring; it can use the
phone line you already have.
APUA Telephones also
provided the modem as part of the
installation.


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Ie N. 15


In congratulating APUA
Telephones on the launch of inet,
Minister Mansoor stated that he is
confident that this will be one of the "gap
closing" mechanisms of ending the
digital divide in Antigua and Barbuda.


Antigua and Barbuda at
WTO Hong Kong
Ministerial Conference

On the 13th December the
sixth WTO Ministerial Conference
formally opened with trade and
economic ministers from the 149
member countries of the WTO hoping to
conclude negotiations for a free trade
accord.

"At this very moment, the
prospects for an agreement are not very
good," said the head of Antigua and
Barbuda's delegation, Dr. Errol Cort,
Minister of Finance and Economy.
"There is no indication that WTO
members will break the stalemate over
cutting subsidies and import tariffs,
which has pitted the rich developed
countries against the poor developing
ones," he added.

During the formal opening
ceremony, the delegates heard
statements from Donald Tsang, Chief
Executive of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of the People's
Republic of China; Mr. John C Tsang,
Secretary for Commerce, Industry and
Technology of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of the People's
Republic of China and the Chairman of
the Ministerial Conference; Mr. Pascal
Lamy, Director-General of the WTO;
H.E. Ms. Amina Mohamed, Ambassador
and Permanent Representative of
Kenya to the WTO and Chairperson of
the WTO's General Council; and Dr.
Supachai Panitchpakdi, the former
Director-General of the WTO and the
current Secretary-General of UNCTAD,


who spoke on behalf of Mr.
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General
of the United Nations.

During the
presentation by Director-
General Lamy, several
protesters chanted anti-WTO
slogans from the back of the
hall where the opening
ceremony was taking place.
"The atmosphere surrounding Antig
the negotiations has been Ministe
intense, with thousands of anti- anb tbe
globalization demonstrators AsC ePer
marching through the streets of the right
Hong Kong carrying anti-WTO Permane
banners and banging drums,"
said Ambassador Ashe,
Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to
the WTO.

"This meeting is beset by many
challenges," said High Commissioner
Roberts, Antigua and Barbuda's Deputy
Permanent Representative to the WTO.
"As a result expectations for a
successful outcome are very low," he
added.

Elliott Paige, the Minister
Counsellor at the OECS Mission to the
WTO, observed that a failure for the
Hong Kong meeting, coming on the
heels of the unsuccessful ministerial
meeting in Cancun, Mexico in 2003,
would destroy the credibility of the
multilateral trading system.

Minister Cort, however,
remained hopeful, noting that the
negotiators hope to lay the groundwork
while in Hong Kong to establish a global
trade deal sometime next year. "I hope
that, at the end of the day, WTO's
member nations, who have debated for
years the best way to promote free and
fair trade, will resolve to hash out an
acceptable agreement given that freer
and fairer trade can, according to the
World Bank, add some US $300 billion
to the global economy," he said.


ua anb BarbWMa's bele ation to the WTO
rial conference beabeb by Minister of Finance
Economy, Dr Errol Cort (centre) witb Dr Jobn
manent Representative to te WTO seatedb to
* of the Minister) anb Dr Carl Roberts, Deputy
nt to the WTO anM Hig6 Commissioner seatedb
on the Minister's left)

The current round of WTO
talks -- the "Doha Round" that was
launched in 2001 in the Doha, the
capital of Qatar, was organized to
address the concerns of poorer
nations. The major issues at the Hong
Kong meeting include opening farming
and service industries to international
competition, and a call by the
developed countries for the developing
nations to open their
telecommunications, tourism and
banking sectors to international
companies.


FCCA and the Norwegian
Jewel spread the cheer of
Christmas to charitable
organizations

On December 7th, the
technical staff of the Ministry of
Tourism and the crew onboard the
Norwegian Jewel took time out to don
their hats as Santa's helpers spreading
Christmas cheer to the children of five
charitable organizations.

Children from the Amazing
Grace Foundation, the Good Shepherd
Home, the Sunshine Home for Girls,


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Ie N. 15


the Citizens Welfare Division, and the
Barbuda Pentecostal Church, were the
recipients of a total of some 200 gifts.

The gifts were distributed to the
students after a brief ceremony during
which Director of Marketing and
Promotions Joyce Henry praised the
Florida Caribbean Cruise Association
(FCCA) for the initiative which spans
some three years.

Also on hand to speak on
behalf of the charitable organizations,
which fall under his Ministry, was
Minister of Social Transformation,
Hilson Baptiste who took time out of his
busy parliamentary schedule to thank
the organizers and more particularly the
FCCA for the gesture.

Minister Baptiste reported that
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer saw the
occasion as being most worthy of
national attention and as such sent his
sentiments of gratitude on behalf of the
nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Karen Maybury, Chief
Organizer and FCCA Representative
spoke on behalf of the organization, by


relaying that it was all worth it to see the
smiles on the faces of the children and
to know that you (and your organization)
are the cause of that smile.

The children, who sang carols
and interacted with Santa Claus, were
also treated to a dynamic performance
by a juggler (crew member on board the
Norwegian Jewel).



Land transfer deal paves
the way for Hatton Bay
Development

The transfer of lands, paving
the way for a multi-million dollar
development at Hatton Bay in Antigua
was completed last week in Washington
D.C with members of US development
consortium of the Federal/ Owens
Group.

Mr. McChesney Emanuel,
Honorary Consul General for Antigua
and Barbuda in New York,
attended the ceremony at the Ronald
Reagan Building in Washington DC.


The land transfer ceremony
and reception featured, tennis players,
Venus and Serena Williams who were
brought on board to brand the Ocean
Grand Resort at Hatton Bay
development in Antigua which
will commence construction by June
2006. The first phase of
the project includes a resort hotel,
convention centre, casino and
international entertainment venue.

According to Honorary Consul
General Emanuel, the Federal/Owens
Group is the partnership of two real
estate firms- Federal Development LLC
and Owens Development Inc. "This
group specializes in the master
development of publicly-owned real
estate assets. The Williams
sisters were brought on board to brand
their exclusive resort development," he
said.

According to Consul General
Emanuel, "meeting the Williams sisters
was great, but what is even more
exciting is to have them as partners in
this project, which will be a huge boost
for Antigua and Barbuda's tourism
product."

"My commitment is
to continue working hard to bring more
celebrities on board to brand other
projects [that are] currently in the
pipeline. This is one of several
projects I have been working on for the
last fifteen months [and] there will
definitely be other announcements in
the coming months," he said.

Consul General Emanuel was
instrumental in creating the synergy
and lead negotiations between
the Federal/Owens Group in
Washington DC and local
Antiguan businessman, Mr. George
Martin Jr. who are collaborating on the
Hatton Bay project.


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Ie N. 15


Financial Secretary wiitfiefi-


Ministry of Finance an
Economy officials retu
from important CARIC
meeting

Senator Lenworth J
Parliamentary Secretary in the
of Finance and the Econon
Whitfield Harris, Financial SE
represented Antigua and Barbud
first Special Meeting of the CA
Council for Finance and P
(COFAP) held in Kingston, Jam
12th December, 2005.

The primary purpose
meeting was to determine
modalities and related financial
for the operation of the R
Development Fund established
Article 158 of the Revised Tr
Chaguaramas. The Fund will
financial and technical assist
Disadvantaged Countries, Regi
Sectors including the OECS c
when the Caribbean Single Mar
the Economy (CSME) comes in
on 1st January, 2006.

The Ministers of Financ
Region (who make up COFAP)


I that a Technical team should be
established to evaluate options for the
funding and structure of the Regional
Development Fund and how member
countries will access the Fund. The
Technical Team, which is to be headed
i- by Professor Compton Bourne, Chief
S Executive Officer of the Caribbean
Development Bank, will report to a
second Special Meeting of COFAP on
23rd January, 2006 just prior to the
CSME signing ceremony in Jamaica on
the 24th January, 2006.

Meanwhile, two CARICOM
countries have pledged a total of US
$12 million to inaugurate the Fund on
Iais 1st January 2006. The first special
Meeting of COFAP also considered the
d Management Structure of the
Petroleum Fund set up by Trinidad and
rn Tobago to provide relief to member
OM countries of CARICOM which are
experiencing economic hardship
because of persistently high prices for
crude oil and petroleum products on the
ohnson, international market.
Ministry Recommendations will be made to the
iy and Heads of Government.
secretary
a at the The first Special Meeting of
RICOM COFAP also considered options for the
planning establishment of an integrated Capital
aica on Market in the Community.


of the Senior Officials bring
e the Christmas Cheer to Health
issues Institution
regional
Sunder
eaty of With the Christmas season
provide fast approaching, senior government
dance to officials are spreading Christmas cheer
ns and at health institutions. On 19th
countries December Governor General Sir James
ket and Carlisle, Lady Emma Carlisle, Health
to force Minister John Maginley, Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Health Clara
Emmanuel and other health officials
e of the visited the Mental Hospital to participate
agreed in their annual Christmas celebrations.


The celebration which brought
laughter and joy to the residents heard
Governor General Sir James Carlisle
reminding the patients that Christmas
brings a message to everyone, and it is
God's unselfish love for all mankind that
brings tolerance, respect and real
understanding to the foundation of our
society.

Sir James Carlisle also added
that he sees noticeable improvement in
the health institution and hopes that the
staff and patients of the institution will
strive for excellence in their continual
growth of the establishment. The
Governor General also encouraged the
staff to do their best with their patients
despite the lack of major working
equipment.

He wished the staff and
patients a Merry Christmas and a
Prosperous New Year and says he
looks forward to many more visits in the
near future.

The Minister told the patients
that Christmas is a time to share and
celebrate the birth of Christ with the rest
of the world and reflected on the joyous
celebration that brings families, friends
and communities together. Minister
Maginley also noted that his
government is planning on amending
the Mental Health Legislation Act. The
Minister said that this new Act is getting
the assistance from Health Canada, the
Pan American Health Organization, as
well as the Acting Superintendent
Clarence Pilgrim and other health care
professionals.

Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Health Clara Emmanuel
urged volunteer groups to donate food
supplies and gifts to the health
institutions to make life more
comfortable for the residents and staff
of the homes.


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Ie 15


Minister Cort promotes
Antigua and Barbuda
business readiness at
WTO Ministerial
Conference

Antigua and Barbuda's
Minister of Finance and the Economy,
Dr. Errol Cort, led a slate of ministers
and representatives from the Caribbean
region, including Belize, Grenada, St
Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the
Grenadines, in addressing the plenary
of the WTO Ministerial Conference in
Hong Kong.

Minister Cort's address comes
at a time when trade ministers from 149
countries and customs territories are
trying to salvage a partial agreement
aimed at, among other things, cutting
taxes on poor countries' exports,
liberalizing trade in cotton, ending
agricultural export subsidies and linking
lower tariffs for manufactured goods to
lower tariffs for agricultural products. It
also comes at a time when a particularly
acrimonious dispute has broken out
over the extent to which countries
should be required to let foreign
competitors into their markets for
services like banking,
telecommunications, hospital
management and computer
programming.

In his statement to the plenary,
Minister Cort began by responding to
the challenge of the Director General of
the WTO, Pascal Lamy, who called on
WTO members to be prepared to take
some risks; to improve the rules; and to
level the playing field in the quest for
free and fair trade and to preserve
development at the heart of the Doha
Round.

"Antigua and Barbuda has
heard and heeded [Director General's]
battle cry and I hereby reaffirm our


commitment to work assiduously to
address the issues at hand. I do so
secured in my belief that the Doha
Development Round provides Members
of the WTO with an opportunity to make
trade an essential tool for economic
growth and development," said Minister
Cort.

The Minister noted that in order
for the twin island nation to benefit fully
from trade that it needed to put in place
the necessary structures to nurture the
seeds of economic growth and
development. He also noted that his
government had embraced a path of
macro-economic and social reform;
introduced fiscal consolidation; taken
steps to reduce the deficit while
establishing an efficient tax system;
established a priority public sector
investment programme; created an
enabling environment for the private
sector to flourish; introduced social
protection of the most vulnerable in our
society; and had embarked on a
programme of legal reform.

"My government's goal is to
increase Antigua and Barbuda's
attractiveness as a place to do
business, with good governance and
transparency as the building blocks of
the programme. Concomitant with this
are ongoing efforts to reduce economic
vulnerabilities, eliminate barriers to
competitive global trade and
investment, increase competitiveness in
the private sector, improve domestic
employment, and enhance our capacity
for sustainable growth in the face of
external circumstances," he said.

The Minister also sought to
underscore the unique concerns of the
nation's economy, which he
characterized as "small, vulnerable,
[and] highly open," and which he said
would "... require flexibility and policy
space for implementing the provisions
and commitments of various WTO
agreements."


He also noted that an
economy such as ours needs
"...longer transitional periods for
implementation [of these agreements]
and fair market access for [its] products
and services," and expressed alarm at
"the prospect that [the country] could
be forced into liberalization of tariffs
without a suitable timeframe and
without the necessary flexibility to
institute and complete needed tax
reforms..."

Touching on the all-important
issue of services, Minister Cort said
that"...Antigua and Barbuda's services
export in value terms was in the order
of 900 to 1. Services today contribute
over 80% to our Gross Domestic
Product. Given our relatively smaller
manufacturing and agricultural base,
the services negotiations are extremely
important for Antigua and Barbuda,
since the services sector present one
of the greatest opportunities for
economic progress in this the Doha
Development Round."

The Minister concluded by
noting that in order for there to be any
progress in the negotiations on
services, "...all WTO Members [will
need] to make quality offers that
address constructively the requests of
trading partners in a commercially
meaningful way. Major trading nations
must lead by example through the
offers that they make, thus allowing
others to commit further for the mutual
benefit of all. In the same vain, we must
also preserve the individual right of
countries' to regulate domestic sectors
in accordance with international best
practices in pursuit of their own
developmental goals."


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Ie 15


Minister Cort describes
agreement reached at the
WTO Ministerial
Conference as "modest"

After six days of intense
negotiation, Ministers from the 149
member nations of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) reached
agreement on a series of narrow but
troublesome issues that have blocked a
global trade agreement for the last three
years.

"There was some progress in a
number of areas," said Minister of
Finance and the Economy and head of
the Antigua and Barbuda's delegation to
the talks, Dr. the Honourable Errol Cort.
"But the consensus view -- which I share
-- is that the overall agreement is not
enough to make the meeting a true
success. In particular, it falls far short of
the ambitious deal that we had all
originally hoped to reach in Hong Kong:
Agreeing on formulas for cutting farm
and industrial tariffs and subsidies," he
said.

"I am particularly disappointed
that, at the end of six days of talks,
significant obstacles remain in the way
of a comprehensive global trade
agreement and a lot more work needs to
be done in areas of agriculture and
market access. At least, wave a
proposed date --April 30, 2006 -- as a
deadline for reaching a draft for the
Doha round," he added.

The agreement, which has
been endorsed by the United States, the
European Union and a coalition of
developing nations led by Brazil, calls
for:
The worldwide end to all
agricultural export subsidies by 2013.
The elimination by
industrialized countries of their tariffs


and quotas on 97 percent of their import
categories for goods coming from the
world's poorest 50 nations.
The elimination by the end of
next year of all cotton export subsidies
and a series of moves to help West
African cotton-growing nations, whose
complaints had led to the collapse of the
previous W.T.O. ministerial conference
two years ago in Cancun, Mexico.
Several billion dollars a year
in aid from the United States, the
European Union and Japan to poor
countries to help them expand exports
and adjust to rising global competition.
New rules designed to
streamline further negotiations early
next year to achieve a global agreement
reducing tariffs on manufactured goods
and allowing greater international
competition in services like banking,
insurance, telecommunications and
express package delivery.
A broad agreement to ban all
fishing industry subsidies that lead to
over-fishing.

"At the outset, we were urged
to "act decisively and with real urgency"
to create a freer and fairer global trading
system," said Dr. John W. Ashe,
Ambassador to the WTO. "But while
there are some elements of the
agreement that can be viewed as
positive, I think that by failing to
eliminate all export subsidies by the
developed countries we may have
missed an opportunity to tackle one of
the root causes of poverty in developing
countries," he said.

"We had hoped that this
meeting would have paved the way for
a global free trade treaty in 2006," said
Dr. Carl Roberts, Deputy Permanent
Representative to the WTO. "Instead
the WTO will need to hold further talks
on issues such as reducing import tariffs
on agricultural produce and freeing up


trade in industrialized goods after
making no headway," he added.

Taking a more sanguine view,
Elliot Paige, Minister Counsellor,
OECS office Geneva, said: "This was
a modest but not insignificant deal
which could be a driving force to make
real cuts in agricultural subsidies, and
while the meeting did not make a great
deal more progress, it did not end in
failure like Cancun and Seattle."

The Hong Kong document is
intended to guide ministers in further
negotiations, with the goal of approving
a final trade liberalisation deal and
completing the current round of
negotiations by the end of 2006.

Cuba and Venezuela
expressed reservations about the
agreement, objecting to the potential
future liberalisation of services
industries such as banking, insurance
and tourism.

As the meeting was winding
down, the magnificent harbour-side
conference centre where the meeting
was held was totally sealed off, with
police out in force to prevent more
rowdy anti-WTO protests after clashes
on Saturday in which 116 people were
hurt, according to authorities.

Police used tear gas, fire
hoses and pepper spray Saturday to
hold back hundreds of demonstrators
led by militant South Korean farmers,
some of whom were armed with
bamboo sticks and metal bars. More
than 1,000 people were detained,
according to Hong Kong police. Nearly
200 of them had been released as of
late Sunday. The violent scenes were
highly unusual for Hong Kong and were
not repeated during a protest on the
final day that drew 6,000-7,000 people.
It was conducted amid a heavy police
presence.


15 Thayer Street, London W1U 3JT


lip ", .i iIyi..i-barbuda.com


Tel: 020 7486 7073 Fax: 020 7486 9970








I ii I


The Government has
completed preparations for the issuing
of Machine Readable Passports in
January 2006.

The passports which meet
International Civil Aviation Organisation
ICAO regulations will be issued in three
colours and categories:


colour;

colour;

colour.


Regular Passport blue in

Official Passport green in

Diplomatic Passport red in


The passports bear the
CARICOM logo, which identifies
Antigua and Barbuda as a member state
of the regional grouping and the Coat of
Arms of Antigua and Barbuda which will
be on the cover of the document.

The Passport Division within
the Office of the Prime Minister outlined
that the last date for accepting the old
passport application forms will be
December 30. The new application
forms will be available for distribution
from January 3, 2006 with the first set of
machine readable passports to be
issued from January 16.

The Passport Division pointed
out those persons holding valid
passports will be allowed to continue to
do so until a phased out period is
announced.

The Division also announced
the fees structure for the Machine
Readable Passports. The fees payable
are as follows:


New Passports


Passports for persons 16 years
and over (32 pages) 50.00

Passports for persons 16 years
and over (64 pages) 100.00

Passports for persons under 16
years (32 pages) 25.00

Replacement Passports

Passports for persons 16 years
and over (32 pages) 100.00

Passports for persons 16 years
and over (64 pages) 200.00

Passports for persons under 16
years (32 pages) 50.00

Emergency Issue of Passports

- Passports for persons 16 years
and over (32 pages) 100.00

Passports for persons 16 years
and over (64 pages) 200.00

Passports for persons under 16
years (32 pages) 50.00

The new standard in the
issuing of passports (machine readable)
is essential for meeting ICAO global
objectives, to minimize delays in border-
crossing formalities and to safeguard
international civil aviation operation
against acts of unlawful interference.


Machine Readable Passports
are readily recognized by officials at
security, immigration and customs
check points and by embassies and
consulates worldwide, and thus make it
easier for a person to obtain visas for
travel and to be cleared at airports.





STEASOJNS









fROM


fHIS EXCELLNCy


THE













MEMBERS


Of


15 Thayer Street, London W1U 3JT


lilp .ii iyi..i-barbuda.com


Tel: 020 7486 7073 Fax: 020 7486 9970




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