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 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099220
Volume ID: VID00042
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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The Antigua and Barbuda

Q High Commission Q

Official Newsletter Issue 137 -- November/December 2009

Trinidad and Tobago hosts

Commonwealth Heads

of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

Commonwealth Heads of
Government (CHOGM) met in
Trinidad and Tobago from 27 to 29
November 2009. Of the 49 countries
that attended the Meeting, 34 were
represented by their Heads of State
or Government.

The Opening Ceremony of
the Meeting included an address by
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Head of the Commonwealth.
Heads of Government
conveyed their sincere appreciation
to the Government and people of

Trinidad and Tobago for the warm
hospitality extended to them and
the excellent arrangements made
for the Meeting. They also
congratulated Prime Minister
Manning for his able stewardship of
the Meeting.

Fundamental Values and Principles:
The Modern Commonwealth
In the 60th anniversary of
the Modern Commonwealth, Heads
of Government adopted the Trinidad
and Tobago Affirmation on
Commonwealth Values and

Membership Rwanda
Heads of Government considered
the application of the Republic of
Rwanda for membership of the
Commonwealth, in accordance with
the criteria and procedures agreed
at their last meeting in 2007. They
warmly welcomed Rwanda into the
Commonwealth family as its 54th
Also see pages 3, 8, 17 and 18 for more

in This Issue
1. High Commissioner's Christmas Message (pages 2 and 3)
2. Antigua and and Barbuda means business at World Travel Market (pages 10 and 11)
3. The Commonwealth Climate Change Declaration (page 18)
4. Government signs Tax Information Exchange Agreements (page 19)

2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place
London W1H 4LP
TeL: 020 7258 0070 Fax.: 020 7258 7486

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The hours of daylight are getting
shorter, the weather is colder and for
some of us our thoughts are turning
to warmer climates. We tell
ourselves that another winter has
crept up on us. For many others
there is no prospect or dream of a
sojourn to warmer areas of the
world. The reality being faced is one
of survival. The primary aim is to
provide or prepare a meal for the
day. We must, however, also
consider preparing our hearts for the
message of Christmas.

The presence of the cold winds of
winter reminds us also of the period
of Advent; that special time leading
up to Christmas when we recall and
celebrate the coming of the Messiah
- Jesus Christ into this world. It is
also a time to take stock and assess
what we have done throughout the
last twelve months. The Radio Bible
Class (RBC) Ministries "Our Daily
Bread" text for 13th December called
for reflection or "A Time for Re-
adjustment". This caption set me

In my Christmas message for the
December 2008 Newsletter (Issue
#130), I pointed out the many
behavioral traits and
"accomplishments" which
characterise societies of today. I ask
myself, if our Lord Jesus were to
visit this world today, would he not
chide us as he did the Sadducees
and Pharisees of his time. It is
therefore truly a time to re-adjust ---
to bring things back in line with the
life style which our Saviour demands
of us all.

We have only to examine what is
happening in Copenhagen to realise
how much we need to re-adjust the
way we live; the way we treat the
world that our God has created for
us to live in. How are we failing to
heed the call to assist the poor and
needy in the world around us
especially at this period of Advent?

We have seen an increase in
fighting, floods, hurricanes,
typhoons, tornadoes and many
other forms of activities which bring
devastation on mankind. The effects
of the recent financial crises are still
with us. The level of uncertainty is
still forcing many governments,
companies and families to cut
spending in an effort to mitigate
against further deterioration in the
quality of living and distress.

We can boast of tremendous
achievements and yet there are still
too many persons living below the
poverty line. The wealth of the world
is being enjoyed by the "few" at the
expense of the "many". We are
finding it difficult to re-adjust our
lifestyles to spread the benefits of
the resources of the world and the
technological advances we have
achieved. We talk of pledges and
not of commitment. The Bible
speaks of service with words (our
lips) and not with action (our hearts).

Continue on page 3

His Excellency and Mrs Roberts

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Continued from page 2

We struggle with a commitment to do
what is right, willing only to do and
justify action for what is expedient.

I hope the outcome of the Conference
of Parties in Copenhagen is the
beginning of the much needed re-
adjustment and that the decisions
taken will be binding on all countries.
The time for action is now and not
some other time in the future.

Let us therefore as stated in the Daily
Watchwords of the Moravian Church
ask our Lord to "bring sanity, justice
and peace to [our] wayward world".
" ..Teach us to reverence the earth
and to care for other people. May we
not harm anything that [God] has
made, either by neglect, deliberate
fault or thoughtless greed. May our
care for the world and for others reflect
[Our God], the Creator, Sustainer, and
Lover of all".

Finally, I take this opportunity on
behalf of my family, the staff of the
High Commission, the Government of
Antigua and Barbuda and of my own
behalf, to wish all the readers of this
publication Seasons Greetings. May
the Season of Christmas and the
expectations of the New Year bring an
upliftment of our spirits. May the God,
we serve, bless and protect each and
everyone of us now and throughout
the New Year (2010).

HC Dr Carl Roberts
High Commissioner

Statement on
Commonwealth Action to
Combat Non-
Communicable Diseases

1. We, the Heads of
Government of the Commonwealth,
representing one third of the world's
population, affirm our commitment to
addressing the burgeoning incidence
of non-communicable diseases
(NCDs), and to increasing the ability of
our countries to respond to this
emerging health crisis.

2. We recognize that NCDs
presently account for over half of all
world deaths worldwide and that they
significantly reduce life expectancy,
qualify of life and productivity. They
place growing pressures on our
economies, thereby posing a serious
threat to sustainable development.

3. We further note that poverty
and NCDs are linked and that it is the
poorest people who are most
vulnerable to the impacts of these
diseases. In many instances the costs
associated with treating NCDs and
related complications can push entire
households into poverty, severely
limiting family members' prospects for
the future, especially those of women
and girls, on whose shoulders

traditionally rests the burden of caring
for the sick.

4. Noting the Action Plan on
Non-Communicable Diseases
adopted by the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) during their 2007 Summit
in Non-Communicable Diseases, we
will work towards reducing the
incidence of NCDs by fostering multi-
sectoral policies and community-
based initiatives to discourage
tobacco use and unhealthy diets and
to promote physical activity.

5. We will also work to fully
integrate NCD prevention and control
into our national health systems. In
this regard, we will strengthen primary
care to address the needs of people
who are already facing NCDs, and
support the universal access of
essential medicines for people living
with NCDs.

6. We firmly believe that the
incidence and burdens of NCDs can
be reduced through comprehensive
and integrated preventative and
control strategies at the individual,
family, community, national and
regional levels and through
collaborative programmes,
partnerships and policies supported
by governments, the private sector,

NGOs and our other social, regional
and international partners. We
therefore call for global engagement of
the private sector, civil society and
governments in efforts to combat
these diseases.

7. Aware that surveillance is key
to effectively combating NCDs, we
commit to support initiatives to include
the monitoring of NCDs and their risk
factors in existing national health
information systems.

8. Noting that international
cooperation is critical in addressing
the phenomenon of NCDs, we call for
their inclusion in global discussions on
development, such as those which will
occur within the framework of the
ECOSOC 2010 Coordination
Segment. We similarly declare our
support for the call to integrate
indicators to monitor the magnitude,
trend and socio-economic impact of
NCDs into the core MDG monitoring
and evaluation system during the
MDG Review Summit in 2010.

9. We further call for a Summit
on NCDs to be held in September
2011, under the auspices of the United
Nations General Assembly, in order to
develop strategic responses to these
diseases and their repercussions.

Wishing you allthejoy of a Merry

Christmas and goodluck in the

Nfew year


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Prime Minister W. Baldwin Spencer
Receives Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from
St. Francis Xavier University

Prime Minister of Antigua and
Barbuda the Honourable Winston
Baldwin Spencer was honoured on
December 5th in Antigonish, Nova
Scotia, Canada when the St. Francis
Xavier University during its Fall
Convocation conferred on him the
degree Doctor of Laws honors causa

Prime Minister Spencer is a graduate
of the Coady International Institute of
St. Francis Xavier University where he
studied Social Leadership and
Community Development.

In reacting to the news that he will be
honoured by his alma mater, Prime
Minister Spencer said that he is
humbled and honoured to be the
recipient of an Honorary Degree from
such a prestigious school of learning
and progressive educational

"Conscious of the fact that education
is about knowledge and our ability to
acquire it at all times and use it in a
manner that would better our lives, I
am encouraged even more to continue
on my drive to expose as many young
Antiguans and Barbudans to achieve
tertiary level education.

As a politician I am usually at the
giving end of the spectrum ensuring
that the people of Antigua and
Barbuda and the region are taken care
of and provided with the necessary

support to ensure the ongoing growth
and development of our small island
states. So I am very much humbled by
the decision of St. Francis Xavier
University to give me this honour.

I must wholeheartedly express my
gratitude to an institution that has
given me the foundation to execute
leadership principles and manage a
process of social and economic
development for the residents of
Antigua and Barbuda," Prime Minister
Spencer said.

Prime Minister Spencer was also
asked by the University to address the
Convocation Ceremony which awards
approximately 175 degrees and
diplomas to graduates in Arts,
Science, Education and Business
Administration. In addition,
approximately 46 graduates from the
Coady International Institute were
awarded with Diplomas in
Development Leadership.

Prime Minister Spencer's address to
the graduates focused on people's
participation in shaping 'good citizens'
and building national capacity, which
he said is important to him because
the story of his life as a leader within
organizations, communities and
nationally, exemplifies the importance
of people involvement in decision
making processes and nation building.

"My message to the graduating class
of 2009 and the students of St. Francis
Xavier University was to always seek
to become 'Conscious Citizens'
actively participating in the process of
nation building and utilizing what they
have learned to positively shape their

Prime Minister Spencer has always
pointed out that it was at Coady
International Institute within the
confines of St. Francis Xavier
University, that he discovered the
value of humility, responsibility,
inclusivity and communication; an
experience that exposed him to the
basic philosophy of social leadership
and cooperation for the good of all.
These principles, he said have stayed
with him and fashioned his thinking
and understanding of life.

Last month, the Cabinet of Antigua
and Barbuda agreed to institute an
annual scholarship for a suitable
qualified citizen who has displayed
tangible commitment to community
development and a desire to study at
the Coady International Institute of St.
Francis Xavier University.

Prayer before Christmas Dinner

God of all gifts, we thank you for the many ways you have blessed us this day. We are grateful
for each of those who are gathered around this table. We ask you to bless us and our food and
to bless those we love who are not with us today. In our gratitude and love, we remember your
humble birth into our lives and pray for those who are without enough to eat. We remember the
stable in which you were born and pray for those who have no place to live. We remember your
challenging message of caring and giving and we pray for peace in families and nations through-
out the world. We bless you and give you thanks in your Spirit who brings our hearts to life today
Christmas Day and forever. Amen.

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Prime Minister The Honourable W. Baldwin Spencer
Message on the Occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of all
forms of Violence against Women

November 25, 2009

Antiguans and

Today, November 25, is being
observed around the world as
International Day forthe Elimination of
All Forms of Violence Against Women.

Here in Antigua and Barbuda, the
Directorate of Gender Affairs is
launching a series of activities aimed
at highlighting this troubling issue. The
activities, being held with the
guidance and leadership of Dr. the
Honourable Jacqui Quinn Leandro,
Minister of Education, Sports, Youth
and Gender Affairs, are aimed at
mobilizing all well-thinking persons to
play our part in bringing an end to
violence against women.

I urge all Antiguans and Barbudans to
participate fully in these public
awareness activities which continue to
December 10.

Our women are the backbone of the
society and economy of Antigua and
Barbuda. They are a critical part of the
labour force in nearly every sector of
the economy. Many are breadwinners
for their families and a precious
national resource that we must
nurture and protect.

Above all, they are our mothers,
sisters, wives, aunts, cousins and

It is a sad fact therefore that, as
reported by the United Nations
Population Fund, around the world,
one in every three women has been
the victim of physical, sexual or some
other form of abuse.

Today, I lend my voice as Prime
Minister, to the international campaign
to end violence against women and to
highlight the problem as one which
constitutes a fundamental violation of
human rights.

The Government of Antigua and
Barbuda remains committed to
gender equality and to the protection

My fellow

and empowerment of our
women. In this regard, we
have adopted, ratified and
implemented various
international conventions,
which we regard seriously.

Only recently the Government
supported a bipartisan motion
in Parliament aimed at
condemning and finding
solutions to the dastardly acts
of rape of women in Antigua.

However, the Government is
not only talking about the
protection of ourwomen and girls. The
State has a duty to ensure their safety
as part of our solemn responsibility for
the security of all our citizens and
visitors to our islands.

We continue to provide the police with
equipment and training to solve these
and other crimes. We have introduced
the Evidence Act 2009 which allows
for DNA evidence, witness protection,
and electronic surveillance to fight
serious crime including rapes and
physical abuse.

As an integral part of the
Government's overall platform for
justice, peace and public safety in
Antigua and Barbuda, the
administration that I lead remains
committed to introducing a Victims o1
Crime Bill of Rights. This will mandate
that a victim of crime has a right:

To be treated with fairness,
respect, and dignity, and to be
free from intimidation,
harassment, or abuse,
throughout the criminal justice

To be informed, upon
request, when the accused or
convicted person is released
from custody or has escaped;

And to receive prompt
restitution from a Victims o1
Crimes Relief Fund or from
the person or persons

The Honourable W. Baldwin Spencer
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

convicted of the criminal
conduct that caused the
victim loss or injury.
On this important day, my solemn
pledge to the women of Antigua and
Barbuda is to redouble my own efforts
and the will and work of the
Government, to do everything
possible to ensure their safety,
security and continued development.

I call on all Antiguans and Barbudans
to join in this campaign to end all
forms of violence against women. I
urge all men to resist the temptation to
engage in any form of violence
against women. Raping or beating
any woman or girl is reprehensible
and shameful and will be met with the
full force of the law. Such actions do
not make you a man.

Let us eradicate this scourge of
violence against women from the
otherwise beautiful face of our fair
Antigua and Barbuda.

May God continue to bless Antigua
and Barbuda.

May God continue to bless each and
everyone of us.


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On the Passing of Founder and Chairman of the Board of the
University of Health Sciences, Antigua School of Medicine
Dr. Yele Akande

Cabinet at its weekly session on Thursday 12 November, 2009 noted with sadness the passing of Founder and
Chairman of the Board of the University of Health Sciences, Antigua School of Medicine Dr. Yele Akande.

Dr. Yele Akande passed away on 24th October in Puerto Rico after a short period of illness.

Cabinet noted his over 27 years service in building an outstanding and internationally recognized medical school in
Antigua and Barbuda. Cabinet also acknowledged his contributions to the nation through his charitable donations to
organizations and individuals to pursue higher education in a wide range of areas to include law and international

"Dr. Yele Akande's service to Antigua and Barbuda in the field of education is exemplary having pioneered one of the
first offshore medical schools within the Caribbean. He will always remain on Antigua and Barbuda's roll of honour for
his sterling contributions."

Cabinet decided that Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Deborah-Mae Lovell
represent the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda at the funeral service of Dr. Akande which was held in
Chicago USA, on Saturday, November 14.

Cabinet expressed its condolences to Dr. Akande's wife Dr. Deborah Akande and other members of the Akande
family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Everyday Science at
Holy Trinity Primary
School Barbuda.
West Indies
Dr Sue Dale Tunnicliffe

Holy Trinity School on Barbuda has a
class of enthusiastic young scientist
who notice the everyday phenomena.
They notice biological, particularly
botanical, specimens in the everyday
world outside school and brought
them to their enthusiastic teacher, Mrs
Henry, shown here holding up two
such sets of specimens brought into
school by her pupils.

Mrs Henry weaves them into her
lesson planning so they combine
science studies with those of literacy,
particularly oracy and writing, as well
as developing the science method
unitising what is often referred to as
Science Inquiry. On a recent visit to
the class pictured in national dress as
they were coming to the end of their
week long literacy festival organised
by Mrs Edrys Joseph Education,
Officer for Zone 4, they had been

forward to hearing the results and the
comments from the class.

I recently highlighted the work of this
class in the Elizabeth Johnson
Memorial lecture which I co-delivered
with Dr Caroline Pontefract, Director
at the Commonwealth Secretariat of
Social Programme Transformations,
where we were stressing the role of
women particularly in helping young
children learn science, especially that
of the everyday world.

presenting to the rest of the school
their interpretation of a Caribbean folk
story involving biological specimens.
They showed me their latest study
investigating seeds and gravity.

The question asked by them was,
"Does a root always grow down? If it
does, is this in response to gravity?
The class had designed an
interrogation, which is shown in
another photograph. They had soaked
bean seeds first and then laid them in
see-through containers in different
directions and were observing what
happened to the root and shoot as
they emerged. The investigation was
in its early stages at my visit and I look

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Antigua and Barbuda Association
celebrates 28 years of
Independence at St Matthias
Church on 1st November 2009

Address by Mrs Althea
Vanderpoole Banahene, Minister
Counsellor at the Antigua and
Barbuda High Commission

Worshipful Mayor, Councillors,
Distinguished Guests, President
and Executive Members of the
Antigua and Barbuda Association,
colleagues and friends of Antigua
and Barbuda, absent family -
absent friends absent colleagues

On 1st November 1981, Antigua and
Barbuda started a new chapter in its
history when it gained full
independence from the United
Kingdom. This bold step meant that
our people made a commitment and
accepted their individual and
collective role in creating a nation that
we could all be proud of a nation
state which could hold its own on a
regional and international stage a
legacy upon which future generations
may make reality the vision of our

In this 28th year of Antigua and
Barbuda's anniversary of
independence the need to create a
viable and self sustaining nation is
ever more pressing. It is no secret
that our country like many others, is
going through very difficult social and
economic times. Now in these 'guava
times' we see the yawing divide
between the 'Haves' and the 'Have
Nots' in our country and the
sometimes adverse impact this has on
aspects of our daily lives such as
crime rates, grocery shopping,
unemployment, the increasing
numbers of persons facing hard times.

On the 25th Anniversary of
Independence in 2006, Prime Minister
the Honourable Baldwin Spencer
said, "There could be no better way of
laying the strong and lasting
foundation upon which, all of Antigua
and Barbuda's sons and daughters,
those who live here, as well as those

who traverse the globe, can work
together, in building a model nation
that will be a caring mother to all her
children". This message in the Prime
Minister's speech delivered three
years ago, continues to ring true and
even more resonant today. In hard
times it is even more important that we
all pull together. We must commit to
working together as one family,
interdependent and supportive of one

On the home front we must uplift our
spirits by celebrating our
achievements a tonic, if you like, to
fortify us as we dig deep to ensure our
island nation rides out the storm. It is
critical that we reignite our sense of
pride, patriotism and togetherness.

This year's independence theme
could not be more fitting Antigua and
Barbuda One Family Reviving Our
National Pride.

What if each one of us here today
makes one small contribution?
Remember the days of growing up
when we depended on our families
abroad to send home their
contributions no matter how small or
no matter what. It could be gifts in the
way of clothes, school fees, money for
school uniform, couple bags of rice,
sugar, a barrel of food, or other
household items. No matter what it
was, it was a contribution greatly
appreciated and it was a help to
families and on a macro level a
boost to a flagging economy.

Friends we are at that time again and
my appeal to you is for us to rally
around. For example, make use of
the Dollar Barrel Scheme which is in
its fourth year of existence and will
start on 15th November2009 and ends
15th January 2010. The Department of
Customs and the Antigua and
Barbuda Port Authority are currently in
the process of finalising arrangements
for the smooth implementation of the
Dollar Barrel initiative. The list of
goods to be allowed, in the Dollar
Barrel, are foodstuffs, clothing, toilet
paper, toothpaste, deodorant, soap
and shampoo.

Some tough decisions have to be
made to increase revenue, reduce

expenditure and improve Antigua and
Barbuda's debt position but we also
have to make that commitment to
help. Our people have lost their jobs,
investments have crumbled but all is
not in vain. Coming on stream in the
first week in November, is Sugar
Ridge 'round' south near Jolly
Harbour. Sugar Ridge is a luxury four
star resort with sixty hillside rooms
overlooking the beautiful blue
Caribbean Seas. The rooms are
tastefully furnished in modern style
but retaining the elegance of the
Caribbean and its colonial influences.
Then, on 1st December 2009, after a
US$28 million transformation, is the
new Jumby Bay Resort with a spa,
open-air and bistro style restaurants,
estate homes, suites and fully
enhanced accommodations.

The stellar personal achievements of
Antiguan and Barbudan nationals help
to positively promote our country.
Friends, bathe in their light, let their
motivation and success inspire us. In
celebrating them we celebrate much
of what is good in our twin island state.

Imagine in our history we have a
Daniel Bailey 100 metres sprinter,
placing fourth in the World Athletic
Championships this year. Antigua
Dance Academy, a group of extremely
talented young people, who were
invited in August to tour Europe.

We need to support our local
industries like Susie's Hotsauce
owned by Mrs Rosie MacMaster,
whom some of you would already
know was recently awarded an MBE
by Her Majesty The Queen. BUY
LOCAL!! Purchase that guava
cheese, pineapple jams, Brownie
Bread, currant slice from Silver Street
Bakery. Yumm... and don't think
about the calories!! After all it's for a
good cause a way to preserve
(literally and figuratively) our heritage
and culture through food! Our
forefathers fought for this land and we
must preserve it for ourselves and our
children. They fought for voting rights
for all and the right for our people to
earn a living wage. Our national flag is
symbolic of this achievement and the
standard which we must follow as we
look to the future building on the
achievements of our forefathers.

Continue on page 14

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'Investing in young
people' A Declaration on
young people by
Commonwealth Heads
of Government
We, the Commonwealth Heads of
Government welcome the emphasis on
young people in this, the sixtieth year
since the foundation of the modern
Commonwealth, with its theme of
thecommonwealth(60: 'serving a new
generation'. We acknowledge with
gratitude the role and active contributions
of young people in promoting
development, peace, democracy, and in
protecting and promoting other
Commonwealth values such as tolerance
and understanding, including respect for
other cultures. We recognize that the
future successes of the Commonwealth
rest with the continued commitments and
contributions in these ways of our young

We appreciate the views and outcomes of
young people that have been conveyed to
us from the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
We note young people's calls to be
involved as agents of peace-building, and
as agents for awareness of and response
to climate change. We also hear young
people's call to be facilitated as drivers of
economic development, as young

We note the principles of youth
development endorsed by Commonwealth
Youth Ministers, and affirm our own
support for the Commonwealth Plan of
Action for Youth Empowerment.

We endorse coherence in the national,
regional and global dimensions of
advancing supportive policies towards
youth. We also recognize the benefits of
engaging youth at all levels of policy
dialogue and curriculum development.

In this respect, we reaffirm our support for
promoting 'youth mainstreaming', and
recognize in particular the benefits of
sharing best practice and knowledge of
mainstreaming, to assist ministries and
stakeholders in building comprehensive
and coherent youth-related policies for
national needs.

We endorse the project by the
Commonwealth Secretariat to develop a
comprehensive and replenished resource
bank on youth affairs, consisting of data,
best practices and thinking in this field, as
a reference tool for the development of
ambitious and coherent national policies
by member states.

We commend the Commonwealth
Secretariat on its work to date in
supporting the establishment of national
youth plans and national youth councils in
member countries.

We note with concern that unemployment
affects young people more than any other
social group. We acknowledge the work of
the pilot Commonwealth Youth Credit
Initiative, and encourage initiatives to
expand the scheme, and to support
comprehensive skills development for
youth in partnership with civil society and

We seek to enhance the CYCI, by turning
it into an integrated and holistic enterprise
development programme, which is built

around comprehensive and mutually
reinforcing skills development, funding,
and mentorship. We pledge to support the
new initiative, which should engage a
considerably wider range of funders and
partners, including our own Ministries of
Youth, international finance institutions,
regional organizations, banks, and
businesses. We welcome initial and
generous donations that have been made
by Asian and African Banks to support
further growth in this area.

We also appeal for voluntary contributions
for special youth initiatives including the
Commonwealth Young Professionals
Programme, and the network of Centres of
Excellence based in the four CYP
Regional Centres.

We recommend that greater partnerships
with national and international actors,
including inter-generational alliances, be
engendered towards the fulfilment of the
youth development vision of the

We recognize the opportunities for young
people provided by the Commonwealth
Scholarships and Fellowships Programme
(CSFP), celebrating its 50th anniversary in

We express our appreciation for initial
commitments of 1.6 million to date made
towards the CSFP Anniversary
Endowment Fund, and anticipate the Fund
receiving further political and financial

Port of Spain
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
29 November 2009

CDB Board approves
US$30 million loan for
Antigua and Barbuda

The Caribbean Development Bank
(CDB) has approved the US$30
million loan request by the
government to assist in implementing
its fiscal consolidation programme.

Finance and Economy Minister Harold
Lovell made the revelation in
Parliament recently, noting that
approval was given by the board of the
CDB last week.

Minister Lovell said the exact
programme promoted in the budget
presentation and during the recent
public consultations was the same

presented to the CDB, which
ultimately proved favourable. "I think
the fact that this money was approved,
demonstrates the confidence the
Caribbean Development Bank has,
with regard to the plan that we put
forward, which we consider to be
realistic," the Finance Minister

The loan is one of several being
sought after by the government to
effect the National Economic and
Social Transformation Plan (NEST).
Discussions are also ongoing with
other organizations, including the
International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank.

The Finance Minister stated that the
very plan presented to the CDB is the
one that will be used in continued

discussions with the IMF in January
2010. Minister Lovell pointed out that
they expect to finalise arrangements
with the international lending
organisation early next year.

"We are showing them we're going to
be serious and disciplined. We do not
need anyone from outside to tell us if
we operate outside the parameters
we'll get into trouble," Mr Lovell noted.

He revealed that a major condition of
the IMF is that every aspect of the
country's debt structure must be
current. Such discipline, he said, is
needed in the country in going
forward, so that a new approach can
be developed in dealing with
development challenges.


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Antigua and Barbuda
Tourism Authority awards
Top Producers

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism
Authority acknowledged and awarded
a select group of tourism partners for
their contributions to tourism in
Antigua and Barbuda, at their annual
Appreciation Party, on board the
luxurious MV Silver Sturgeon in
London on November 6.

The Authority organized the awards
ceremony to recognize the
destination's top UK producers.

"We are delighted to present these
awards to those partners, whose work
has been instrumental in helping us to
reposition the destination", said UK

Hilary Modeste (centre) UK Director of Tourism, Sir Vivian Richards (left) and
Richie Richardson (GCM) greeting Tourism Partners

errie Osborne UK Office -Administration and Marketing Manager
with Tourism partners

Director of Tourism,

P. Hilary

The award for Travel Journalist of the
Year, was presented to Fiona Sims for
her article "Finding a Foodie Paradise
in Antigua" that appeared in The

The article, provided a mouth watering
insight into the food and recipes of

Antigua, and highlighted the skills on
an exceptional chef, located at
Hermitage Bay, one of Antigua's most
beautiful properties. It also drew
attention to some of Antigua's most
popular and noteworthy restaurants.

UK Tour Operator, Thomas Cook
received the award for "Tour Operator
with the Largest Increase for 2009"
while the "Top Selling Tour Operator

Joel Henry (left) Marketing and
Business Development Executive and
Maria Blackman (right) Marketing
and Communications Executive, both
at the UK-Tourist Office

for the Year" award was presented to
Virgin Atlantic.

Special guests at the event included,
Sir Vivian Richards and Richie
Richardson (GCM) as well as
Managing Director of Susie's Hot
Sauce, Rosie Mc Master (MBE).

Maria Blackman
Marketing and Communications
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism
Authority UK Tourist Office

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Antigua and Barbuda
means business at
World Travel Market

Antigua and Barbuda made its
presence felt in London at World
Travel Market(WTM), the premier
global event for the travel industry
which ran this year, from November 9

Antigua and Barbuda's Minister of
Tourism John Maginley, CEO of the
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism
Authority Colin C. James, UK Director
of Tourism Hilary Modeste, and
Marketing Manager, Cherrie Osborne
held meetings with key tourism
stakeholders in the UK.

Earlier in the week, meetings were
held with senior representatives from
Virgin Holidays, British Airways and a
number of major tour operators.

Tourism Minister John Maginley said
that "WTM is proving to be a great
opportunity to meet with our top
producing tour operators and our
airline partners. "We are receiving
excellent feedback from our partners,
and are being told that with our recent
marketing initiatives that Antigua and

Pictured above, left to right:- Dan McCauley of Sugar Ridge, Sir Vivian
Richards, Tourism Minister Hon. John Maginley, Richie Richardson and Aiden
McCauley, owner of Sugar Ridge

A number of specific joint marketing
activities, to begin in the coming year,
have been agreed with Antigua and
Barbuda's partners in the UK.

With these plans in the pipeline, as
well as promotions initiated by the UK
office such as the "Kids Fly Free" offer

Tourism Minister John Maginley in conversation with tourism partners

Barbuda is regaining market share. which began recently, the office is
This is great news for us." confident that Antigua and Barbuda is
now better positioned to receive

stronger arrival figures from the UK
market for 2010.

Meetings were also held with tour
operators and by the end of the WTM
activities, the Antigua and Barbuda
Tourism Authority and Ministry of
Tourism met over forty partners in
the travel and tourism industry.

Also in London, conducting meetings
at World Travel Market, were Neil
Forrester of the Antigua Hotel and
Tourist Association, along with
representatives from Blue Waters
Hotel, Jolly Beach Resort and Spa,
Carlisle Bay, Hermitage Bay, Royal
Antiguan Beach and Tennis Resort,
Sugar Ridge, JHR Caribbean Real
Estate, Jumby Bay Resort, National
Tours and FBO 2000.

The Antigua and Barbuda stand was
abuzz with activity for the week, with
Sugar Ridge, Antigua and Barbuda's
newest resort officially introducing
itself to press gathered at WTM. The
2009/2010 Antigua and Barbuda
Travel Guides, The Antiguan,
Beautiful Barbuda and The Treasure
Island Guides were also launched at
the stand.

Well-known Antigua
former West Indies
Vivian Richards

and Barbuda
Cricketers Sir
and Richie

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High Commissioner Dr Carl Roberts and Mr Lesroy Browne of LIAT having talks at
World Travel Market held in London November 9 12.

Richardson, also spent the last two the Antigua and Barbuda stand, cricket bats, and participating in a
days creating additional excitement at meeting with fans, signing miniature series of media interviews.

(left) Sir Viv and Richie admiring cricket
hat to be auctioned for charity

Maria Blackman
Marketing and Communications
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

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Ambassador Lovell pays
tribute to the work of
Sir Clare Roberts at the

At a Special meeting of the
Permanent Council of the
Organization of the American States,
called to mark the anniversary of the
three Human Rights institutions of the
OAS on Wednesday 11 November,
2009, Ambassador Deborah-Mae
Lovell, Antigua and Barbuda's
Permanent Representative to the
OAS, paid tribute to the stellar work
rendered to the hemisphere by
prominent jurist of Antigua and
Barbuda, Sir Clare Roberts.

Sir Clare, who was in attendance at
the meeting, was bringing to an end
a successful eight year tenure on the
Commission of Human Rights where
he was highly respected by his peers.
He served not only as Second Vice
President and First Vice President
respectively but also secured the
position of the Presidency when he
was re-elected to the Commission by

a landslide victory at the
OAS General Assembly,
held in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida in 2005.

During his tenure,
Commissioner Roberts
chalked up many
accomplishments. Most
notably, he was the
Rapporteur for both Haiti
and for the Afro-
Descendants in the
hemisphere. In this latter
role, he worked to shine a
light on the conditions of
life for that demographic
that is often invisible and
often marginalized in
Latin America.

In her presentation, Ambassador.
Lovell praised Sir Clare's razor-sharp
intellect, his love of the law and his
passion for justice and said that he
had brought considerable heft to the
work of the Commission. She added
that his brothers and sisters in
Antigua and Barbuda all hail his
remarkable achievement.

Amoassaaor ueDoran-wlvae Lovell ana
Sir Clare Roberts

This Special Meeting of the
Permanent Council was called to
commemorate the anniversaries of
the following Human Rights
institutions of the Inter-American
System: The Fiftieth Anniversary of
the Commission of Human Rights;
the Fortieth Anniversary of the
Convention of Human Rights and the
Thirtieth Anniversary of the Court of
Human Rights.

OSFI conducts Training at
Financial Services
Regulatory Commission

The Office of the Superintendent of
Financial Institutions (OSFI) of
Canada, as part of its technical
assistance to Antigua and Barbuda's
Financial Services Regulatory
Commission the FSRC, completed a
four day in-house training session on
insurance regulation last week. The
facilitators were Messrs Jean Sarazin
and Bruce Thompson, senior officers
of OSFI, an institution widely
regarded as one of the leading
financial regulatory agencies in the

This is the fourth time in less than two
years that the FSRC has teamed up
with OSFI to conduct training for its
staff. During the four-day exercise,
the instructors introduced
participants to various techniques
essential for the effective supervision
of a modern insurance industry.
Some of the key areas covered
included: (1) capital adequacy, (2)

re-insurance arrangements, (3) loss
claim reserves and (4) solvency

The training exercise forms part of an
ongoing initiative by the Board of
Directors of the FSRC to strengthen
its overall supervisory and regulatory
oversight and to improve its human
resource capacity by obtaining
training from reputable international
institutions. The training came as an
implementation strategy by the Board
in conjunction with new legislative
and regulatory changes that will
reshape the insurance industry.
Assistance has also been received
from other agencies to include
(CARTAC), The Caribbean Regional
Technical Assistance Centre.

The Chairman of the Board, Miss
Althea Crick on behalf of the FSRC
and the people of Antigua & Barbuda
expressed the Board's appreciation
and thanks to OSFI for providing the
technical assistance at this critical
juncture in the re-structuring of the
FSRC and its new responsibility for
the insurance sector. Previously, the

FSRC's mandate extended only to
international insurance companies.

Meanwhile, On November 5th, 2009,
the Commission met with key
stakeholders of the industry at the
Ministry of Finance Headquarters in
an effort to dialogue and consult with
them and to sensitize them about
issues relevant to their sector. The
FSRC will institute measures to
obtain full compliance with the new
Insurance Act, which came into effect
on April 15, 2009.

On January 1, 2009 The Financial
Services Regulatory Commission
assumed supervisory oversight of
the domestic insurance sector as
mandated under the International
Business Corporation Act
amendment of 2002.

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Antigua and Barbuda
holds Successful
Meeting with European

Antigua and Barbuda is set to receive
further technical and financial
assistance from the European Union
following high level talks in Brussels
by a team from St. John's.

Making the disclosure, National
Authorizing Officer for the European
Development Fund, Ambassador Dr.
Clarence Henry, back from a series of
talks with the European Commission
services explained that the talks
primarily focused on possible areas of
engagement, cooperation and the
acquisition of assistance to further
strengthen the capacity of the
Financial Services Regulatory
Commission (FSRC).

The Antigua and Barbuda delegation
also included Ms. Althea Crick -
Chairman of the FSRC and Board
Member, Ms. Donna Chaia.

According to Ambassador Henry,
throughout the talks they
underscored the fact that Antigua and
Barbuda is committed to the
principles of transparency and
recognizes its obligations under
international law and will continue to
comply with commitments under the
tax information exchange agreements
concluded on the basis of OECD
internationally agreed standards.

The mission followed negotiations
leading to the conclusion of the 10th
European Development Fund (EDF)
Country Support Paper (CSP)
between the European Commission
(EC) and Antigua and Barbuda, the
impact of the Allen Stanford debacle
and the global financial and economic

crisis on the economy; increasing
pressure of the international
community to seek renewed
commitment from developing
countries with perceived tax havens
to honour obligations and Prime
Minister Spencer's request for
technical assistance at the
CARIFORUM-European Commission
dialogue on Regional Cooperation
and Integration in Antigua on 18 July

Describing the Mission as "very
successful" Ambassador Henry
indicated that, among other things,
the Commission expressed
commitment to increasing the 10th
EDF allocation of Euro 3.4 million, the
dispatch of technical experts to assist
the FSRC, and support for the
convening of an international meeting
in Antigua in 2010 on financial
services attracting representatives
from EU Member States, other donor
agencies and CARIFORUM Member

Head of the
described the

EC Directorate for
John Caloghirou,
mission as "a break

through trip" having "greatly changed
perceptions about Antigua and
Barbuda" and should be regarded as
an "investment that will later bring

Similarly, Mr. Philip Kermode, Head
of the Directorate General for
Taxation and Custom Union, wrote
confirming the commitment of
technical assistance to "help Antigua
and Barbuda to implement the
principles of good governance in the
tax area". According to Kermode, the
"Directorate General Development,
Directorate general EuropeAid and
EC delegation are currently working
on how the practical aspects of such
technical assistance could be

Meanwhile, during the recent OECS
50th meeting of the Authority in
Anguilla, 18-20 November 2009,
Antigua and Barbuda updated and
received the support of the Sub-
Region on the engagement with the
EC, and also disclosed Europe's
willingness to commence similar
dialogue with the rest of other OECS
Member States.

The High Commissioner and Staff

wouCdYike to take this opportunity to

wish you a very Merry Christmas and

a Prosperous New year

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Continued from page 7

How fitting is the motto of our nation
"Each Endeavouring All Achieving"?
In the words of its composer, James H
Carrott MBE, "the concept was
created to provide inspiration to each
Antiguan and Barbudan to recognize
that the development of the whole
country would be a benefit to all, but,
that development, required the effort
of each individual".

We all have a personal responsibility
to help make this nation thrive. On
two occasions I have spoken about
our principles and values and our
responsibilities to our children and to
our country.

The Golden Sun of the flag represents
the dawn of a new era. This 28th year
of Independence has to be the dawn
of a new era, new ideals and new
commitments to improve tourism
figures to our islands. It is worth noting
that the recent drive with Virgin
Atlantic, hotels and tour operators in
the UK has meant that tourism figures
are set to increase even more than
expected and it is anticipated that
increased number of visitors will visit
ourshores in 2010. With more visitors
to our country we need to be ready to
take advantage of this opportunity.
Let's ensure that we are READY.

As nationals we are troubled by the
increasing incidents of crime and the
number of settlers in our country. Our
Government, spearheaded by the
Ministry of National Security and
Labour has outlined plans for handling
and reviewing our current immigration
policies. Since July there has been a
national consultation on immigration
both in Antigua and also in Barbuda.
The objective is to look at the issues
raised relating to the current
immigration policy which is outdated
and is not reflective of the labour
challenges facing the country, work
permit schemes, citizenship, voting

rights of temporary residents etc and
then devise a policy which best fulfils
the needs of the country. Immigration
Officers will also be retrained.

On the matter of crime, our
Government has engaged, in a joint
venture, the expertise of the UK
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
through an Agency called the National
Policing Improvement Agency which
looks at delivering specialised training
to Senior Officers on forensics,
analysis of crime including rape and
sexual assaults, intelligence
gathering, technology for crime
detection and finger printing. There
are currently ten Senior Officers
undergoing this training along with
fellow colleagues from Montserrat,
Anguilla and Bermuda. There is also
talk of developing a Special Type of
Constabulary of trained volunteers
who provide a link between the police
and the community. Thus such a
force would provide a heavier
presence in communities with high
crime rates and it is hoped that these
initiatives would go a long way into
addressing crime in the area.

Freedom and independence come
with responsibility and accountability.
It is our land, it is home and it is our
children's future. We need to give
ourselves freely to the service of our
country and not wait solely on others.
To improve the quality of our lives
within our own families and
communities we need to develop a
more caring society.

Charity begins at home. So perhaps
one area we could look at, is how we
can provide access to, and deliver
high standard outreach services to our
elderly, in particular, those who are
still in their homes, so that they can
remain as independent for as long as
possible and retain their dignity.. Can
we help in some small way? When we
help our people and our community
we help our country.

The Red in the flag represents the
dynamism of our people. We are a
strong people with deep founded
roots. So let us live up to that after all
"a Antigua me come from me come
from Barbuda". This expression
brings a strong sense of ownership, it
is said with such depth of meaning
that it is as if it were the panacea, the
"cure all" for whatever may ail us or
challenge us. It is home.

Blue and White are the emblems of
our tourism and the industry that
brings revenue to our shores and
creates jobs for our people. Therefore
we must do everything in our power to
safeguard that industry in spite of the
current challenges we are facing with
climate change, the increase in airport
departure duty (APD) and swine flu.

Let us make a personal pledge:
Support the hawksbill turtle
conservation project on Jumby Bay
Long Island. When we go the beach
do not leave our rubbish behind, take
rubbish bags pick up any rubbish
around; preserve the environment.
After all "the beach is just the

To conclude, forgive me I have
exercised some artistic license in
choosing some salient themes from
our National Anthem. Let us be
directed by some of these phrases
which give true meaning to who we
are, where we are and where we
should be going:

"God of Nations let Thy Blessing fall
upon this land of ours,
We commit ourselves to building a
true nation brave and free,
Answer now to duty's call to the
service of our country,
Sparing Nothing Giving All."

One Nation One Family!

Thank you and Happy Independence


Merry C8ristmas

And Best Wishes for the New year

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For several months, the Governments of
the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union
(ECCU) have carefully monitored growing
public concern about the financial
situation of British American Insurance
Company Limited (BAICO) and other
subsidiaries of its Trinidadian parent
company, C L Financial. BAICO itself is a
private, limited liability company
incorporated in the Bahamas.
Nevertheless, the sheer size of BAICO
and the significant exposure of the
Eastern Caribbean have made it
imperative for the ECCU Governments to
adopt a proactive and collective approach
to this challenge.

At the end of July/early August of this
year, regulators in the ECCU and The
Bahamas intervened in the operations of
BAICO and applied to Courts in the
several jurisdictions to appoint Judicial
Managers. Consequently, Judicial
Managers were appointed in all ECCU
countries with branches of BAICO except
Dominica. Since Dominica's law does not
provide for the appointment of a Judicial
Manager, the Judicial Manager for BAICO
(The Bahamas) appointed an agent to
take control of the affairs of the branch in

To facilitate cooperation, expedition and
reduce costs, these "ECCU" Judicial
Managers were all appointed from among
professionals of a single group, namely
the highly respected firms of chartered
accountants known as "KPMG". Except
for Dominica, the full reports of these
Judicial Managers were filed with the
respective Courts last Friday, October 30,
2009. Dominica's report will be filed soon.

Key Findings of Judicial Managers

The reports of the Judicial Managers
reveal that:

SThe liabilities of the BAICO branches
in the Eastern Caribbean total EC$1.05
billion. Of this sum, EC$842.4 million are
annuities or investment contracts.

There are branches in Anguilla, Antigua
& Barbuda, Dominica, Montserrat,
Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia
and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

SBritish American Insurance Company
Limited, a Bahamian company
operated out of Trinidad, with branches
throughout the Eastern Caribbean is
insolvent. As of June 30, 2009
(unaudited financial statements), the
deficiency was EC$775 million. This
deficiency may increase as there are
significant concerns regarding the values
attributed to some of BAICO's intra-group
assets, for example a loan note due from
CL Financial and its US property

SThe branches of BAICO in the Eastern
Caribbean are not stand-alone legal
entities. As a result, the liabilities of these
branches are the liabilities of BAICO and
the assets of these branches are the
assets of BAICO unless such assets have
been legitimately set aside for the benefit
of local policyholders.

SThere is only approximately EC$30
million of assets set aside (pledged) in
the Eastern Caribbean.

SAn amount of EC$301 million was
taken from the branches in the Eastern
Caribbean to fund certain inter-
company transactions including the
purchase of property in Florida, United
States of America. The Judicial
Managers have filed a petition in US
Court to be recognized in bankruptcy
proceedings started by BAICO to
obtain relief under Chapter 15 of the US
Bankruptcy Code. This relief, if granted,
will stay all actions against BAICO in the
US and will allow the Judicial Managers to
have a voice in any decisions regarding
the distribution of the US assets.

SIn the event of a liquidation of BAICO,
policyholders will not be paid in full.
Indeed, it is probable that if BAICO was
liquidated, policyholders will only get 10
cents on their dollar. This means if you
have an annuity of $1000, you would only
receive $100.

The facts revealed in the Judicial
Managers reports are troubling to say the

However, they are not entirely
unanticipated, for over the past few
months many of the grim facts concerning
BAICO's financial status have become
public knowledge. Moreover, the
Governments of the ECCU have actively
sought to obtain a better of understanding
of the situation with a view to becoming
part of the solution. After considerable
discussion and planning, a new entity was
proposed to salvage the ailing ECCU
operations of BAICO and we have worked
for several months to make this a reality.

Mindful of the grave consequences if
British American is liquidated, and having
consulted with ECCU Governments, the
Judicial Managers' Reports have now
endorsed this approach for the creation of
a new entity and we are optimistic that
their recommendations will be accepted
by the Court. In that event, the ECCU
governments stand ready to participate in
the proposed new entity with a view to
protecting the interests of regional
policyholders and annuitants.

It is clear from the Judicial Managers'
Reports that BAICO is insolvent and that
without a substantial capital injection,
policyholders and investors would suffer
tremendous losses. It is with this in mind
that the ECCU governments are
pleased to announce that we have
agreed upon a strategy to assist the
Judicial Managers in the structuring
and funding of the proposed new entity
to take over certain of the assets and
liabilities of BAICO in the Eastern

While the details of this strategy will
require a great deal more work, both in
collaboration with the Judicial Managers
of the region and in collaboration with
potential strategic partners, it is a real
opportunity, perhaps the only real
opportunity, to avoid some of the
inevitable losses associated with
liquidation and to offer policyholders and
investors the potential for recovery of a
greater portion of their assets and

The Resolution Strategy (The Plan)
The Plan is predicated on four guiding
principles, which were endorsed by the
Monetary Council at its meeting in
Dominica on July 10, 2009. They are:
(i) To ensure that British American does
not become a systemic risk to the financial
(ii) To protect, as far as practicable, the
interests of depositors and investors;
(iii) To keep British American as a "going
concern" in a form to be determined; and
(iv) To craft a solution that is regional in

The Council also approved the
appointment of a Ministerial Sub-
Committee on Insurance to provide
oversight on this important matter. The
Sub-Committee comprises: Prime
Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent
and the Grenadines (Chairman), Prime
Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica,
Minister Nazim Burke of Grenada and
Minister Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and
Nevis. This Committee is supported by a
Continue on page 16

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Continued from page 15

Core Technical Team and a Committee of
Regulators. All have been working
diligently on this matter for several months.


The proposed new company would have
its headquarters in the Eastern Caribbean
and would assume the traditional life
insurance, medical insurance and annuity
business of British American branches in
the Eastern Caribbean.

The challenge posed by BAICO's
insolvency is not only a concern for the
Eastern Caribbean, it is a regional
problem. BAICO, though incorporated in
the Bahamas has its operational
headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago
through its parent company. Questions
relating to corporate governance and
management by the CL Financial Group
certainly arise, especially in view of the
apparent use of monies from BAICO policy
holders in the Eastern Caribbean to fund
risky real estate investments in Florida and
elsewhere. Indeed, the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago intervened into the
operations of CL Financial earlier this year
and entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding with that company in an
attempt to address some of these issues.

Consistent with the principle of crafting a
solution which is regional in nature, the
new company will be capitalized by ECCU
Governments, the Government of Trinidad
& Tobago, the Government of Barbados,
and one or more strategic investors.
Policyholders may also have an
opportunity to obtain equity in the new

Of course, it is evident from the extent of
BAICO's deficits that some losses will be
inevitable. Policyholders should not expect
the new company to cover all the benefits
and interest to which they may be entitled
from BAICO. Intrinsic in the high returns
offered by BAICO is a certain level of risk
for which policyholders must accept some
responsibility. The capital injection
required to preserve even the principal
amounts invested by policyholders is
daunting. Thus the goal in funding the new
company will be primarily to cover as far as
possible the principal amounts invested by
ECCU policyholders and annuitants.

The process of forming and funding the
proposed new company is one that will
take some time. Indeed even after the
company is established, it will take time
before there is sufficient liquidity to allow
for payouts to any policyholders.
Policyholders and annuitants should

therefore not expect to have immediate
access even to those funds which may
ultimately be recoverable.
The Court may ultimately find that it is in
the best interests of policyholders to
approve a plan which proposes a
reduction in future interest rates as well as
a reduction in accrued interest. Annuitants
may be required to continue to invest their
funds for a prescribed time and/or may
have options to acquire equity in the new
entity. These details are still being worked
out. The Governments of the ECCU are
committed to preserving the principal
investments of its citizens and residents in
BAICO as far as practicable. However,
British American policyholders need to be
realistic about what they are likely to
recover. Every policyholder and annuitant
of BAICO will have a critical role to play in
ensuring the success of the proposed
recovery plan.

At this juncture, it important to reiterate two
things: if British American is liquidated,
policyholders are likely to get 10 cents on
the dollar. If the Court approves this plan,
policyholders will recover some funds and
may have an opportunity to participate in
mechanisms for an even more substantial
recovery over time.

Much work remains to be done but the
ECCU Governments wish to see the new
company set up within six (6) months of
Court approval of the plan.


The Governments of the ECCU are keenly
aware of persons who are awaiting funds
from British American to settle their
medical insurance claims. It is understood
that there may be as many as 7,700
medical insurance policyholders in the
Eastern Caribbean.

Governments are especially concerned
about such persons and recognize the
fundamental importance of health care for
the well-being of our people and the
development of our region. As a
consequence, and for a limited period
pending the establishment of the new
company, the ECCU Governments have
agreed to establish a Medical Claims
Support Fund. The resources for this Fund
will come from the Liquidity Support Fund
that was established earlier this year.

The intention here is that the Governments
will provide resources to assist, within
certain parameters, those ECCU policy
holders who would otherwise have been
entitled to receive payments of claims
under BAICO medical policies. It should be
noted that this fund will be an independent,
governmental fund rather than a part of the

existing BAICO operations. However, the
establishment of this fund will require
some collaboration with the Judicial
Managers and will ultimately need to be
incorporated into the proposed new
company. Thus, it too will likely require
court approval before full implementation.
It should be noted that this Fund will not
apply to holders of annuities who are
seeking funds to pay medical needs.
Annuitants can expect some recovery only
after the establishment of the proposed
new company.


The ECCU Governments further endorse
the recommendation of the Judicial
Managers to transfer BAICO's property
insurance portfolio within the ECCU to an
existing insurer, rather than including it in
the assets of the proposed new company.

The reasons for this decision are several,
however among the most compelling is the
fact that BAICO's reinsurers have
cancelled reinsurance contracts with
British American due to its insolvency.
Given the size of the ECCU property
insurance portfolio (3500 policyholders),
the cost of such reinsurance is prohibitive
at this time.

The Governments of the ECCU are of the
view that ECCU property insurance
policyholders would be best served by the
proposed transfer to ensure that all
property claims can properly be met.
Once again, it must be noted that this
proposed transfer is subject to Court

CLICO Holdings Barbados Ltd is another
subsidiary of the Trinidadian company C.
L. Financial Limited. The Governments of
the ECCU are aware that some CLICO
companies in the Eastern Caribbean have
recently been slow in paying claims.

Once again it should be noted that this is a
private company. Nevertheless, in the
interest of the public, the Governments of
the ECCU and Barbados are in an ongoing
dialogue on the status of CLICO Holdings
(Barbados) which is the parent company
for all CLICO branches in the Eastern
Caribbean. The Government of Barbados
has informed that two CLICO subsidiary
companies, CLICO Mortgage Finance
Company and CLICO General Insurance,
have already been sold and discussions
underway for the sale of CLICO
International Life Insurance. It is the
understanding of ECCU Governments that
the completion of these sales will provide
CLICO Holdings (Barbados) with
resources to meet its obligations to all of its

Continue on page 20

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Civil Society Findings
Presented to
Commonwealth Foreign

A Voice for Change.

As Heads of State gathered in
Trinidad and Tobago for the 2009
Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting, civil society
organizations sent a clear message
that they are core to the very being of
the Commonwealth.

They presented a statement
addressing the CHOGM theme to
Commonwealth Foreign Ministers on
Wednesday 25 November, which
focused on the need for concerted
action to address the economic
downturn and climate change. It also
made reference to the need to uphold
universal human rights across the 53
member states.

It was developed by citizen's
organizations, faith groups, artists
groups, trade unions and professional
associations from more than 50
countries. They met ahead of CHOGM
at the Commonwealth People's Forum
(CPF) to debate issues on the
Commonwealth's agenda.

Speaking at the CPF closing session,
the Minister for Social Development in
Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Amery
Browne said;

"Solutions lie not just at the level of
the Heads and Parliaments but at
constructive gatherings of the
peoples of the Commonwealth."

He went on to say; "Solutions require
the inputs of those most involved. You
have given the nearly two billion
people of the Commonwealth an
avenue to air their concerns and by
extension enable their participation in
the decision making process."

Commonwealth Foundation Director,
Dr Mark Collins said the civil society
statement was;

"a reflection of the concerns and
aspirations of the Commonwealth
people and that it must be used by
civil society as their guide over the
next two years to achieve great

Dr Collins also pledged to use the
statement to form and influence the
work of the Commonwealth
Foundation, organizers of the CPF.
He talked about the pride that civil
society has in the statement they
produced and he thanked the Minister

for making it clear that the
Government of Trinidad and Tobago
and those of the wider Commonwealth
will stand together with civil society as
they work towards partnering for a
more equitable and sustainable future.
Chair of the CPF Steering Committee,
Ms Beverly Beckles quoted opening
plenary speaker Angela Cropper
when she talked about civil society
being the "make happeners" of
change. Ms Beckles commended the
National Secretariat and the
Commonwealth Foundation for their
organisation of an event that enables
civil society to convene and dialogue
and present to their governments
solutions for change.

The Commonwealth Foundation is an
intergovernmental organisation
established in 1965, resource by and
reporting to Commonwealth
governments, and guided by
Commonwealth values and priorities.
Its aims are to strengthen civil society
in the achievement of Commonwealth
priorities democracy and good
governance, respect for human rights
and gender equality, poverty
eradication and sustainable, people-
centred development, and to promote
arts and culture.

Taxation necessary for
fiscal balance

"In order to deal with the fiscal imbalance
of this country, we need to look at the
fiscal equation of revenue and
expenditure," were the sentiments
echoed by leader of government
business in the Upper House Senator
Errol Cort while delivering his remarks
on the 2010 Budget.
Dr. Cort said that to begin to close the
fiscal gap, the government has to begin
to look at ways to increase its revenue,
despite complaints from all walks of
"A measure of the tax burden in any
country could be grasped by taking your
tax to GDP ratio and looking at that, your
tax revenues as a percentage of the total
value of goods and services produced
and see where we are with that and that
statistic is one that is being used widely
to give a sense of the tax burden of the

Dr. Cort said that prior to 2004 the tax
burden on the people of this country was
in the region of about 17 per cent and
when compared to the tax burden in the
other OECS countries this ranges
between 25 -31 per cent which clearly
indicates that there is still room from
Antigua and Barbuda to increase
revenue via taxation.
"This is not based on jamming any one
from any particular sector of society but
just on the facts of the matter," he said.
Dr Cort indicated that his government
was able to overhaul the taxation system
in 2004 when they took office first with
the Personal Income Tax (PIT).
He continued that in the absence of the
PIT there were major loop holes as
individuals were able to set up
companies and channel all their profits
to themselves.

Senator The Honourable Dr Errol Cort

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Port of Spain
Climate Change
Consensus: The
Climate Change
The Challenge of Our Time
1. Climate change is the predominant
global challenge. We convened a Special
Session on Climate Change in Port of
Spain to discuss our profound concern
about the undisputed threat that climate
change poses to the security, prosperity,
economic and social development of our
people. For many it is deepening poverty
and affecting the attainment of the
Millennium Development Goals. For some
of us, it is an existential threat.
2. We reaffirm our commitment to the
Lake Victoria Commonwealth Climate
Change ActionPlan and its further
implementation, in particular by
contributing to the efforts of member
states in transforming their economies
and strengthening the capacity and voice
of vulnerable groups.
3. We recognize the unprecedented
opportunity of our meeting just ahead of
the 15th Conference of the Parties to the
UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change in Copenhagen. We approach
Copenhagen with ambition, optimism and
determination. We welcome the
attendance of leaders at the Copenhagen
conference. The needs of the most
vulnerable must be addressed. Their
voice must be heard and capacity to
engage strengthened. Many of us from
small island states, low-lying coastal
states and least developed countries face
the greatest challenges, yet have
contributed least to the problem of climate
4. In keeping with the spirit of the theme of
CHOGM 2009, 'Partnering for a more
equitable and sustainable future', we
warmly welcomed the United Nations
Secretary-General, the Prime Minister of
Denmark and the President of France.
5. We represent a third of the world's
population in all continents and oceans,
and more than one quarter of the Parties
to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change. We have
the global reach and diversity to help forge
the inclusive global solutions needed to
combat climate change.
6. Science, and our own experience, tells
us that we only have a few short years to
address this threat. The average global
temperature has risen because of the

increase in carbon and other greenhouse
gas emissions. The latest scientific
evidence indicates that in order to avoid
dangerous climate change that is likely to
have catastrophic impacts we must find
solutions using all available avenues. We
must act now.
7. We believe an internationally legally
binding agreement is essential. We
pledge our continued support to the
leaders-driven process guided by the
Danish Prime Minister and his efforts to
deliver a comprehensive, substantial and
operationally binding agreement in
Copenhagen leading towards a full legally
binding outcome no later than 2010. In
Copenhagen we commit to focus our
efforts on achieving the strongest possible
Copenhagen and Beyond
8. A global climate change solution is
central to the survival of peoples, the
promotion of development and facilitation
of a global transition to a low emission
development path. The agreement in
Copenhagen must address the urgent
needs of developing countries by
providing financing, support for
adaptation, technology transfer, capacity-
building, approaches and incentives for
reducing emissions from deforestation
and forest degradation, and for
afforestation and sustainable
management of forests.
9. In addition, we will strive to significantly
increase technological-and technology
support to developing countries to
facilitate the deployment and diffusion of
clean technologies through a range of
mechanisms. We will workto facilitate and
enable the transition to low emission
economies, climate resilience, and in
particular, support, including through
capacitybuilding, for increasing the
climate resilience of vulnerable
economies. We will also aim to develop
cleaner, more affordable and renewable
energy sources. We must explore global
mechanisms through which those
identified technologies can be
disseminated as rapidly as possible.
10. Ensuring the viability of states should
underpin a shared vision for long-term
co-operative action and a long-term global
goal for emission reductions. In building
towards an international agreement, all
countries will need to play their part, in
accordance with the principle of common
but differentiated responsibilities and
respective capabilities.
11. We need an ambitious mitigation
outcome at Copenhagen to reduce the
risks of dangerous climate change without
compromising the legitimate development
aspirations of developing countries. We
stress our common conviction that urgent

and substantial action to reduce global
emissions is needed and have a range of
views as to whether average global
temperature increase should be
constrained to below 1.5 degrees or to no
more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-
industrial levels. We also recognize the
need for an early peaking year for global
emissions. Developed countries should
continue to lead on cutting their
emissions, and developing countries, in
line with their national circumstances,
should also take action to achieve a
substantial deviation from business-as-
usual emissions including with financial
and technical support, and also supported
by technology and capacity-building.
12. Progress towards predictable and
adequate finance for adaptation and
mitigation measures must be achieved in
any new multilateral approach. Public and
private financial resources for developing
countries will need to be scaled up
urgently and substantially by 2020. We
recognize that adaptation finance in
particular should be targeted towards the
poorest and most vulnerable countries.
The provision of finance should be
additional to existing official development
assistance commitments. In this respect,
we acknowledge the potential role of the
private sector and carbon markets.
13. In addition, we recognize the need for
an early start to the provision for financial
resources. Fast start funding, constituting
grant funding, should provide substantial
support for adaptation, REDD plus and
clean technology. We welcomed the
initiative to establish, as part of a
comprehensive agreement, a
Copenhagen Launch Fund starting in
2010 and building to a level of resources
of $10 billion annually by 2012. Fast start
funding for adaptation should be focused
on the most vulnerable countries. We also
welcomed a proposal to provide
immediate, fast disbursing assistance with
a dedicated stream for small island states,
and associated low-lying coastal states of
AOSIS2 of at least 10 per cent of the fund.
We also recognize the need for further,
specified and comparable funding
streams, to assist the poorest and most
vulnerable countries, to cope with, and
adapt to the adverse impacts of climate
change. We recognize that funding will be
scaled up beyond 2012.
14. We agree that an equitable
governance structure to manage the
financial and technological support must
be put in place. We agree that a future
governance structure should provide for
states to monitor and comply with
arrangements entered under a new
Copenhagen agreement.

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Antiguans and
Barbudans celebrate

28 years of


The Diaspora in the United Kingdom
continued to celebrate Antigua and
Barbuda's 28th Anniversary of
Independence on the 7th November
with a dinner and dance held at the
Holiday Inn Kensington Forum.
organised by the Antigua and Barbuda
Association, London.

The Leicester and other communities
joined with the London community for
a really great evening.

Mr Brillheart James and
others were on hand as usual
to record Christmas greetings
and messages from the
Diaspora to their families back
home in Antigua and Barbuda.
Mr James, the Chairman of
the Barbuda Association in
Leicester has been providing
this service for years and
should be highly commended
for this act of community spirit Sor
he has provided for so many

Miss Peryfene Thomas chats with The Honourable Minister of Tourism,
John Maginley

ne of the guests at the Independence

years. A DVD is being produced
showcasing the event.

The Honourable John Maginley,
Minister of Tourism, our Sports
Ambassadors Sir Vivian
Richards and Richie
Richardson and Althea
Vanderpoole Banahene
Minister-Counsellor at the
Antigua and Barbuda High
Commission in London also
attended the function.

Credits: Mr Brillheart James and Miss Percyfene Thomas, Leicester

TIEA Agreements
signed by the
Government of
Antigua and Barbuda

On the 7th December 2009, the
High Commissioner for Antigua
and Barbuda signed the Tax
Information Exchange Agreement
(TIEA) on behalf of the
Government of Antigua and
Barbuda. The Government of
Belgium was represented by Mr. T.
Brent Symonette, Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign

The purpose of the Agreement is to
promote international co-operation
in tax matters through exchange of

information. It was developed by
the OECD Global Forum Working
Group on Effective Exchange of
Information. The Working Group
consisted of representatives from
OECD Member countries as well
as delegates from Aruba,
Bermuda, Bahrain, Cayman
Islands, Cyprus, Isle of Man, Malta,
Mauritius, the Netherlands Antilles,
the Seychelles and San Marino.

On the 15th December 2009, the
High Commissioner also signed the
Tax Information Exchange
Agreement (TIEA) on behalf of the
Government of Antigua and
Barbuda with the Government of
Ireland at the Irish Embassy in
London, represented by
Ambassador Bobby McDonagh.

High Commissioner Dr Carl
Roberts signing the Agreement
with Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs, for



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Continued from page 16

investors and policyholders, including
those in the Eastern Caribbean countries.
The ECCU governments will continue the
dialogue with the Government of
Barbados to monitor this situation to the
fullest extent possible.

More Patience and Further
Consultation is Required
The resolution of issues surrounding the
insolvency of BAICO is a complex
undertaking. However, the ECCU
Governments believe that the proposed
plan, subject of course to judicial approval,
can work. The alternative of immediate
liquidation is, in our view, unacceptable.

The ECCU Governments understand the
concern and anxiety of policyholders and
have crafted this plan with them in mind;
however, the policyholders of British
American will need to continue to be
patient and realistic.

At this juncture and quite understandably,
policyholders and investors have many

The ECCU Governments are asking the
Judicial Managers to make appropriate
arrangements to receive feedback from
policyholders and the public on the plan
and to provide available information to

Furthermore, over the next few weeks, our
Governments will be arranging meetings
with staff and policyholders and investors
to explain the proposed plan and to
receive their views and suggestions.

The Governments of the ECCU are also
aware that many individuals rely upon

British American Life Insurance policies as
collateral for loans and will be consulting
with Banks in the region in an effort to
address their concerns in this regard.

Why did this happen and how can it be
In as much as BAICO is a private, limited
liability company, matters related to
internal corporate governance and
management are most properly addressed
by its shareholders and its creditors.

Even so, to the extent that the failure of a
company like BAICO can have such wide
reaching socio-economic effects across
the region, the ECCU governments must
next ask some salient questions: "Who is
responsible for this difficult situation in
which we find ourselves?" and "How can
this be avoided in the future?".

These are important questions which must
be addressed. However, the ECCU
governments' first priority in this regard
has been and continues to be to craft a
viable and sustainable solution for its
affected citizens and residents. No doubt,
as the smoke clears, further investigations
into the underlying reasons for the
collapse of BAICO will likely be an
important next step and once again
regional cooperation will be critical.

Yet, even before we know the exact
actions which precipitated this crisis, we
can begin to grow from the lessons of this
experience, both as individuals and as
nations. The legal and supervisory
frameworks within which insurance
companies are regulated require re-
examination and to some extent, that
review has already begun across the
region. As individuals too we can learn
from this process the importance of

investment diversification, "not putting all
one's eggs in one basket", as well as the
need to understand the nature of the
investments we make and the risks
attached to them.


A difficult challenge is on our hands.
However, a strategy for recovery has
been prepared by the ECCU
Governments, and the Judicial Managers
have made recommendations that are
consistent with that strategy. Further, the
plan is subject to Court approval. This
judicial safeguard will ensure that the
interests of all affected parties will be
comprehensively considered before any
implementation begins.

The ECCU Governments firmly support
this approach and believe that it is a much
superior alternative to liquidation.

The choice is clear:

Liquidation: policyholders get 10 cents on
their dollar.

Proposed New Plan: policyholders have
an opportunity for greater recovery over

At this juncture, we are reminded of the old
adage: "we do it best when put to the test".
This situation is indeed testing but out of
this difficult chapter will emerge a stronger
insurance industry and a stronger regional

Issued by Governments of the ECCU
November 02, 2009

Antigua and Barbuda High
2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place
Telephone: 020 7258 0070 Facsimile
020 7258 7486

2009 AND NEW YEAR 2010
The High Commission will open
normal hours 9.30am to 5.00pm up

to Friday 18th December 2009

Monday 21st December 2009
CLOSE 3.00pm

Tuesday 22nd December 2009
CLOSE 3.00pm

Wednesday 23rd December 2009
CLOSE 3.00pm

Thursday 24th December 2009
CLOSE 1.00pm (Christmas Eve)

Friday 25th December 2009
CLOSED (Christmas Day)

Monday 28th December 2009
CLOSED (Boxing Day holiday in
lieu of Saturday 26th December)

Tuesday 29th December 2009
CLOSE 3.00pm

Wednesday 30th December 2009
CLOSE 3.00pm

Thursday 31st December 2009
CLOSE 1.00pm (New Year's Eve)

Friday 1st January 2010
CLOSED (New Year's Day)

Monday 4th January 2010
(9.30am to 5.00pm)

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