NEWS ON THE WEB
INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION
Caribbean and African Nations Blocked
Whale Sanctuary Plan at IWC Meeting in
nations may sit next to
OAS (Organization of American States) and share the waters of the
when it comes to creating a whale sanctuary there, they are miles apart.
explains what happened when two of the leading South American countries in the
OAS and the International Whaling Commission tried to get the IWC at its annual
approve the creation of a
charge against the proposal, thus playing a key role in torpedoing it. Along
the way, the Caricom countries described the proposal as being unnecessary,
unscientific, and potentially disruptive.
was the third time that
the opposition of six
proposal for the sanctuary and, on each occasion, Caricom member-states of the
IWC helped to drive a fatal harpoon into the idea.
is really no need for a sanctuary in the
said Ignatius Jean,
Minister of Agriculture. "It's beyond us in the
persist in this when they know the outcome even before they place it on the
Commissioner for the past six years shared that reaction.
IWC's Scientific Committee didn't see there was any merit to the sanctuary plan,
because the species of whales in the waters around us are not threatened,"
said Pascal, a former
of Agriculture. "We don't see any merit in it, either. Yet,
pushing it, and it goes down to defeat every time. Don't be surprised if it
surfaces when the IWC meets next year in St. Kitts-Nevis."
may agree on democracy and economic and social development in the
, but on
whaling and the sustainable use of marine resources in the waters around them,
they are usually at the opposite sides.
the Caribbean states vote consistently with Japan, Norway, Nicaragua, Iceland,
the Russian Federation, Gabon, Benin, Senegal, Cameroon, the Solomon Islands,
Kiribati, Benin, China, Mauritania, Palau, Tuvalu, Cote D'Ivoire, Iceland, and
Guinea to allow a limited and strictly managed resumption of commercial whaling,
Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico routinely join with Spain, Australia,
New Zealand, the U.S., Britain, France, Austria, Belgium, and a host of other
European countries to block any proposal for the catching of whales, even for
scientific research purposes.
it comes to this issue, they don't believe they have anything in common with us
in the developing world," complained a
his part, Cedric Liburd, Minister of Agriculture in St. Kitts-Nevis, strongly
disagreed with the rationale for it. "They
want to save the whales through the creation of sanctuaries, but they didn't
base their argument on science," was the way he put it.
"Unfortunately, the advocates of it prefer emotion, and that's wrong."
top representative, was worried about the
for another reason. "If it
were approved--and I doubt it would ever be sanctioned by the IWC--it could
have long-term negative implications for our fisheries and even for cruise
tourism in the
Minister of Food Production, said that her country voted against the proposal
because it "lacked a scientific foundation."
it was put to the vote in
countries, most of them in
it, while 26 states led by African,
and Pacific countries opposed it. The establishment of a sanctuary requires a
75 per cent approval vote, but the plan fell far short of the required number
READY TO FIGHT AGAIN NEXT YEAR
Loss at IWC meeting hasn't dimmed region's zeal for struggle
over resumption of global commercial whaling
nations may have been knocked down in
the bout aimed at securing a resumption of limited commercial whaling, but they
are far from dispirited, according to
24 hours after the International Whaling Commission failed in South Korea to
agree to implement its own "Revised Management Scheme" that would have
given the green light for the re-introduction of limited commercial whaling,
Eastern Caribbean nations, plus Suriname and Nicaragua, said they are gearing up
for a resumption of the battle for votes when the IWC holds its next annual
meeting in St. Kitts-Nevis in 2006.
we would have liked to have seen the IWC approve its own Revised Management
Scheme for commercial whaling, I can't say that I came to
expecting that the IWC would have agreed to introduce it," said Lloyd
Commissioner. "It will take some time--and more persuasion--to get some of
contracting governments to change their minds and support the sustainable
utilization of marine resources."
resolve to continue the struggle with next year in mind was also evident in the
reaction of Cedric Liburd, St. Kitts-Nevis' Minister of Agriculture.
"I am hoping that by the time we are able to meet at IWC 58, the
annual meeting in my country in 2006, we would have a simple a majority of
votes," said the minister, who is also his county's commissioner.
"We have to continue to try to convince other countries that our way, the
matter of sustainable use, is the way to go. We believe that in much the way St.
Kitts-Nevis was able to win the vote against
the 2006 IWC meeting, we can change some minds on the revised management
scheme. But to be successful, we would have to work harder. That is one way of
dealing with it."
is to try to get other countries, especially those in the developing world that
are outside of the IWC, to join the international organization, which now has
about 66 members, he said.
though, like Pascal, the cabinet minister thinks the struggle for the
implementation of the RMS and the resumption of commercial whaling may take
years before it's successfully concluded.
this matter is not being decided on scientific research but on the emotion of
anti-whaling nations," he said. "If it were based on science, the
science of the IWC's own scientific committee, it would have been implemented
long ago. Therefore, the matter of when and where I will be expecting a vote
isn't clear-cut. I do believe this
will go on for many, many, more years if the RMS isn't revised in terms of
looking at how it can be structured in the future in order to bring about a
With Something to Prove about Whales,
Watching and, Hopefully, Whaling side-by-side
By Tony Best
June 22, 2005
Almost 11,000 humpback whales may be swimming in
believes that figure may allow it to prove something to the world.
Its point: whale watching and whaling for food can co-exist, contrary to
what some opponents of whaling argued at the 57th annual meeting of
the IWC in
are a whale-watching destination, but we want to see the day when whale
harvesting can be undertaken,” said Lloyd Pascal, a former Minister of
Agriculture who is now
’s top representative to the IWC.
“Whaling,” he added, “has a long tradition in the
has shown that the marine animals can be a source of food protein for people.
We see whales as a source of food as well, and when the day comes for the
resumption of commercial whaling under the auspices of the IWC,
would consider its options when it comes to whale-hunting.”
Pascal, who has represented
at IWC meetings for the past five years, is one of the most vocal advocates of
the sustainable use of the marine resources, including whales, in the waters of
, and elsewhere. While he believes in abiding by the Commission’s moratorium
on commercial whaling until the organization changes its mind by adopting the
scientific committee’s Revised Management Scheme for commercial whaling, he is
convinced that ending the ban is the right thing to do.
“We want to show the international community that whale
watching and whaling are not incompatible,” was the way he put it. “They are
not mutually exclusive. Whale watching is a part of our tourism industry and
that should continue--but whaling can also occur, should
decide to go that route.”
He said that the IWC’s scientific committee estimated
that some 10,750 humpback whales were roaming the Caribbean waters every year,
and, therefore, a strictly monitored and limited IWC program of commercial
whaling wouldn’t hurt the whale stock.
“We in the region are very pleased to hear this figure
from the IWC scientific committee,” said the
only takes four a year, on average, so as soon as there is a lifting of the
will be able to make use of this stock of humpback whales so we can feed people
and also make some money out of it. As soon as the moratorium is lifted,
would have to decide how it is going to make use of the resources in its
waters. One of the things we are saying is that while we promote whale watching,
there is absolutely no contradiction in whale watching and whale hunting at the
It would take a two-third majority to end the moratorium,
and Pascal was quick to admit that the pro-whaling group of nations, including
Dominica’s neighbors in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),
Japan, Russian Federation, Suriname, Belize, Benin, Mauritania, Gabon, Senegal,
China, the Solomon Islands, Norway, and Iceland, other sustainable-use nations
now have the votes to end the moratorium.
“It may not end any time soon,” he said, “but you
never know, because countries that have waited so long for a moratorium which
should have been lifted since 1990 are now contemplating their options of
resuming commercial whaling outside of the IWC.”
Whale meat is eaten in certain parts of the
Nations Lose Fight for Secret Ballot in
to Carry on War at Next Year's Meeting in St.Kitts
may have lost another round in the long running battle over secret balloting in
the International Whaling Commission, but they aren't giving up on the war.
Indeed, although the IWC's 57th annual meeting is far from over, six Organisation
of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries -Antigua, Dominica, Grenada,
already planning for next year's conference in St. Kitts-Nevis, where they plan
to raise the issue once again.
"Yes, we are going to ensure that
the issue gets on the agenda of the 2006 meeting in St. Kitts-Nevis," said
Cedric Liburd, St. Kitts-Nevis' Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, who is
also his country's IWC Commissioner. "This is a matter on which we in the
very strongly because of the problems we have faced due to our voting in
support of the sustainable use of the world's marine resources."
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, agreed.
"Several international bodies use the secret ballot, and we believe the
IWC should protect its members' interests by having it as well," she said.
"We are not giving up on this."
Every year since the turn of the 21st
century--or even before--the OECS states have been waging a relentless, but so
far unsuccessful, battle to get the IWC to use secret balloting as one way of
protecting themselves from threats from NGOs and rich countries which object to
their support for sustainable use of marine resources and their backing of
Japan's scientific research whaling program. They also support
several African and Central American states in a campaign to get the IWC to
approve a limited and strictly management scheme of commercial whaling that
would target only those species of whales that are in abundance.
After being threatened with a tourism boycott because of their
pro-sustainable whaling stance,
OECS countries have been trying to get the IWC to introduce secret balloting.
But most Commission members have declined to approve it.
When the issue came up the first day of the conference,
fight against the
proposal, which lost by a vote of 30-27, the closest the OECS states, backed by
African nations, and a host of others came to gaining a majority.
Now they are planning for next year. "It is one of our major efforts
to have the conference exert the right to secrecy, because we in the
that the larger countries and NGOs are using open voting to create a problem
for us," said Liburd. "We feel that if we were able to have the votes
taken by secret ballot, we would have been able to make sure that the right to
vote on the floor can be exercised without the threats and the reprisals. The
NGOs and some of the larger countries are using the way we vote to create
problems for us in St. Kitts-Nevis and in the
We feel we have a right to vote according to our conscience--and to do so in
secret--and that's why we are pushing for it. We will not stop because of this
But, representatives of
instance, argue that secret balloting was unnecessary, because most IWC members
knew how the various countries voted anyway.
speaks out for the
secret balloting plan.
Liburd explained that the region's goal was to shield the countries from
like in our parliamentary elections at home, we use the system of secret ballot
to protect the right of the voter and avoid any problems of
discrimination," he said. "We
think the same principle should be adhered to in the IWC."
For her part, Massiah, an attorney who is attending her second IWC
meeting, complained that objections to secret balloting were based "on a
twisted notion of transparency" in the voting process.
"The advocates for open voting are suggesting that any movement to
secret balloting would mean that persons in our home countries wouldn't know how
we voted on specific issues before the IWC," she said. "But the fact
of the matter is that certainly within the
certainly in the OECS, people already know how their representatives are
In backing the "sustainable use of marine resources," the
incurring the wrath of some powerful, large nations and prominent NGOs. The
secret ballot, they believe, would eliminate false allegations and any threats
against countries in the region.
By Serge Beaulieu
U.N. Bureau Chief
United Nations, New York, July 14, 2004 (CNS NEWS)
A team of five foreign ministers from Caribbean countries is in Haiti this week
to discuss a new approach to the dilemma of relations with the U.S.-backed
After the departure of Haiti's president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29,
Caricom's 14 member countries have tried very hard to show that they are in
command in their region. But, with U.S. interference, they had to back off. They
were not even able to convene a U.N. General Assembly meeting in order to find
out what had happened to their man in Haiti, who claimed that he had been
kidnapped, put on a plane, and sent to the Central African Republic, without his
The U.S.-backed Latortue regime in Haiti quickly responded by announcing that it
had broken relations with Jamaica, which had provided temporary refuge for
Aristide after he left the Central African Republic.
During his subsequent visit to the United Nations last March, Latortue claimed
that the question of Caricom was "behind us."
"Not so," said some Caribbean leaders.
At Caricom's recent Heads of State conference in Grenada, the question arose
again. They decided to send a fact-finding mission to Haiti, comprised of five
foreign ministers from Antigua, Barbados, the Bahamas, Trinidad, and Guyana.
In order to recognize the government of Haiti, the Caribbean Heads of State
requested the following: release of Aristide's former prime minister Yves
Neptune from jail; a date be set for a general election; a disarming of all
banned forces, including the insurgents who overthrew Aristide; and a guarantee
of full participation in the election, including the supporters of Jean Bertrand
This is a diplomatic success for Caricom, which has been able to stand fast
until now against the mighty United States.
On another front, U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan in a solo approach
designated J. Gabriel Valdes, a former minister for foreign affairs of Chile, as
his representative to Haiti, with a budget of more than $172 million for a
6-month period. With a cap of 8,000 troops, he knows that he is the real
governor, especially when the World Bank is on the eve of approving another $924
million to put Haiti on its feet.
The sad part of this is that the whole situation happened at the time Haiti was
proudly celebrating the 200th anniversary of its revolution against imperialist
forces of Europe. Haiti, the world's first black republic, is paying a heavy
price for its past glory.
WHAT WILL BE
Lauderdale, Florida, June 5, 2004 (CNS NEWS)
Popular broadcaster Serge
Beaulieu, affectionately known as Bouboule, was the keynote speaker to a crowd
of Floridian Haitians Saturday night at the Broward County Main Library in
. He asked the audience to explore with him l’échec—
’s 200 years of failure.
The three-hour conference
also featured the poet Heraste Obas, who passionately expressed the hope that
will not perish.
Senagalese Professor Babacar
M’Bow, who had just returned from a conference in
Trinidad and Tobago
, spoke de
la memoire ŕ l’histoire, stressing the importance of respecting one’s
Wearing his signature bow
tie and speaking in his mellifluous, deep, and penetrating voice, Bouboule
asked: “Will Haiti survive? He said the land would always be there but
wondered about the society as it exists today.
After the slave revolt that
’s independence in 1804 from Napoleon’s
, Haitian society saw the disappearance of the
white conquistadors, while the mulattoes and the blacks managed to survive,
even while distrusting each other.
Most of the mulattoes
maintained their wealth, educated their children in
, and kept a European flavor on the island.
They built gourmet restaurants that served the finest French wines,
established their own social clubs, and managed to be in charge of the
In the late 1940s, Bouboule
said, a social revolution began, which enabled the blacks, who had been living
in abject poverty, to have aspirations of power. This movement was short-lived,
but in 1957, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier appeared on
’s political scene with the goal of giving
power to the masses. The Duvalier regime, father and son, lasted longer than
previous ones but was mired in controversy. It was viewed askance by the
international community, which was anxious to end the era of the caudillos, civil and military in
’s Somoza, and
’s Duvalier were targeted, and the communists
had dreams of controlling the world.
After the fall of the
, the brief period of relative calm that emerged
was suddenly reversed by another type of government: the ochlocracy. The populista,
the masses, overwhelmingly embraced the message of a young, activist priest,
Jean Bertrand Aristide, whom they nicknamed “Titid” and viewed as a savior.
But, in less than one year,
the military reacted and Titid was overthrown. He went into exile, first in
, then to
, and finally found a niche in
, where he was able to meet with the most
’s political elite, including the Clintons and
the Kennedys. After two years, Titid, with the help of 20,000 U.S. Marines, was
able to return to
, where he resumed the presidency. But his tenure did not fulfill the
people’s expectations, and he was at odds with the mulatto class. The fight
ended the same way—but this time with the American power overthrowing him.
The vacuum was quickly filled with American-backed individuals, who today
don’t seem to know what
’s future will be.
Within that thumbnail
historical context, Bouboule questioned the future of
and the coexistence of the two societies:
mulatto and black. Titid left
with the masses poorer, disillusioned, and more desperate than they had
ever been. Unfortunately, for the first time in the country’s history, the
masses had destroyed century-old institutions, such as the historical cathedral
’s great hero Toussaint L’Ouverture spoke.
On February 29 this year, when Aristide’s overthrow was known, the masses
burned to the ground banks and homes and ransacked established businesses.
Without a quick intervention once again by the U.S. Marines, that trend would
have continued until today.
Now, while 8,000 United
Nations troops are in the process of arriving in
, some of the country’s provinces are not
under the U.S.-backed government control. Bouboule questioned the extent of the
hate of the masses for the other part of the society. Time constraints
prevented a deep analysis, but it seems that both historically and now the
political leaders have been interested in taking the power—not in improving
the country or the well-being of its people. The warning bell in Bouboule’s
urgent message was that, unless something changes, in the future, the two
societies may not be able to coexist.
The audience seemed to agree
with his points il faut comprendre
avant d’apprendre (It is necessary to understand before one can learn)
and that there is a difference between le
dire and le faire
(saying and doing).
Bouboule said that the
is in the hands of the youth and that they have
to be taught how to steer the ship.
The seminar, sponsored by
“Nations and Cultures,” was a celebration of its first anniversary on radio
. The organizing committee included Jean-Rony
Monestime, Fritz Obas, Felix Norvilien, Francelet Fileus, Samson Myrtil, and
Henri-C.K.P. It was a night to remember.
UN Bureau Chief
April 13, 2004
fourteen countries of Caricom did not even exist when the Monroe Doctrine was
enacted in 1823 to protect the interests of the
against the intrusion
of European powers in the affairs of
Haiti was already an independent country but continued to suffer the
humiliation of the European powers with a powerful United States averting its
England, Italy – even Germany – continued to ransom Haitian ports in dispute
with a weak Haitian nation. It took the United States more than 30 years before
recognizing Haiti as an independent country.
Nevertheless, Haiti has survived, and, hopefully, will continue to
the United Nations decolonization movement in the 1960s came the independence of
the British Caribbean islands. They were quick to unify under a treaty to form a
trade association in 1973 that they called Caricom. This trade association
evolved to become a political body that requested to participate in the
Organization of American States (OAS), the regional organization, and as a block
at the United Nations as well.
several years they ignored Haiti, one of the largest countries in the Caribbean,
until the creation of the ACP (the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States).
Spain, one of the major European donor countries, indicated it was
interested in helping to finance Caribbean development as a whole, not just the
former British Caribbean islands. Haiti was accepted as a full member, while the
Dominican Republic was invited to participate in some capacity.
arrival of Jean Bertrand Aristide as Haiti’s head of state was a way for
Caricom to expand its membership and speak as an inclusive Caribbean
organization. It is in that light that when President Aristide was overthrown,
or, as Aristide alleges, kidnapped, Caricom found itself in a delicate situation
to intervene for one of its leaders. The situation could have remained there if
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Patterson had not decided to offer hospitality to the
deposed Haitian president from his place of temporary exile in the Central
African Republic. Patterson’s
invitation, and Aristide’s acceptance, provoked a hasty reaction from
Haiti’s US-designated prime minister, Gerard Latortue, who recalled the
country’s ambassador from Jamaica and cut relations with Caricom.
taken by surprise by this reaction, decided to submit the question at the
forthcoming Caricom Heads of State meeting in St. Kitts in March. The Caricom
Heads of State, in turn, decided to withhold recognition of the US-backed
Latortue government and requested a meeting of the United Nations General
Assembly to discuss Aristide’s allegation that he was kidnapped at gunpoint by
the US ambassador and a group of Marines and put in a US plane bound to nowhere,
until he recognized that he was in the Central African Republic.
investigation requested by the Caricom Heads of State was approved by the 52
countries of the African Union. So far, nyet.
An adviser named by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Reginald Dumas of
Trinidad, expressed surprise at Caricom’s delay in lodging its request for the
probe, sparking a tiff with the Trinidad and Tobago foreign Minister, Kwolson
Gift. Gift said he was doubtful of Dumas’ justification for his observation,
since the investigation called for by Caricom was not within his purview.
last Monday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell landed in Haiti’s capital city
Port-au-Prince to offer support and legitimacy to Latortue’s government.
the United Nations, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette, in opening
remarks to a meeting in New York between representatives of Caricom and the UN
system, said that the UN is seeking to draw in all relevant actors and pursue a
common strategic aim in Haiti.
will explore with Caricom, as well as with the OAS, what each of us is best
positioned to contribute, in cooperation with our Haitian partners,” she said.
“And since Caricom, the OAS, and the UN system will remain in Haiti long after
the peacekeeping phase ends, we need to ensure that an integrated and common
approach is followed.”
at the broader issues facing the Caribbean region, the Deputy Secretary-General
noted that one of the main areas of collaboration between the UN and Caricom is
trade, particularly the joint effort to press for greater liberalization and an
international trading system that brings development gains for the bloc’s
presentation did not include mention of Caricom’s request for a General
Assembly probe into Aristide’s allegations, and US Secretary of State Colin
Powell has said that such a probe would serve no useful purpose. Has the matter
simply died? Although the president of the General Assembly is the
representative of St. Lucia, a Caribbean country, backed by 52 African members
of the AU, it appears that without the okay of the United States no group can
convene the General Assembly.
Hunte briefing journalists
GA PRESIDENT JULIAN HUNTE OF ST. LUCIA
TALKED ABOUT INNOVATIONS
AT A UN PRESS BRIEFING
By Serge Beaulieu
UN Bureau Chief
United Nations, New York, October 7, 2003 (CNS NEWS)
How does a man from one of the world’s tiniest states, Saint Lucia,
population 158,000, area 238 square miles, react after presiding for two weeks
over a world body comprised of 191 member states represented by kings,
presidents, heads of state and government, some of them with huge populations,
such as China and India, each with more than 1 billion inhabitants?
Looking at Julian R. Hunte, President of the 58th General
Assembly, at a press briefing Tuesday morning at the United Nations, one might
wonder: How did he get there? The answer lies in the principle of universality
that the founding members of the UN invested in the Charter, with the notion one
nation, one vote, although today this principle seems to be on the verge of
giving way to superpowers, which are represented by the five permanent members
of the Security Council.
Listening to Mr. Hunte talk about his plan for the General Assembly, one
discovers business expertise in this man of action. Among other things, Mr.
Hunte serves as his country’s Minister for External Affairs, International
Trade and Civil Aviation. Covering revitalization of the General Assembly to
reform of the Security Council, the President insisted that he has his own inner
circle group working on a presentation of some fresh ideas. An inner circle
working with the president of the Assembly is a brand new development at the UN.
He also said that he has encouraged each chairman of the General Assembly
committees to meet with the press and explain their work, something else that
has never been done in the history of the United Nations.
When asked about the ambiguity of Article 11 of the Charter over matters of
peace and security concerning the role of the General Assembly over which he is
presiding and that of the Security Council, he said:
"Peace and security is not the only responsibility that the General
Assembly has, it is just one." What the General Assembly has done is say
that "peace and security will be the preserve of the Security Council, and
they will hand these matters specifically to them. Yes, you may discuss peace
and security matters in the General Assembly, but you cannot make
recommendations while these matters are being discussed by the Security Council.
"The General Assembly has the authority to discuss any matter; that is
its role and function. But on issues regarding peace and security, what is
happening in Kosovo, what is happening in Afghanistan, [the Security Council
has] a special charge under the Charter to deal specifically with those issues.
"We had a situation just the other day where the United States vetoed
the resolution as it related to Mr. Arafat, and it was brought to the General
Assembly. Of course, the General Assembly cannot force anybody to do anything,
but morally they made their views known loud and clear that they thought it was
not something the international community should condone. So the General
Assembly does have the authority to discuss matters that relate to peace and
security, and it does."
The President also answered questions concerning some of the world’s
smaller countries, such as his own Saint Lucia. Mr. Hunte said that the ten-year
review for the Barbados Plan of Action, scheduled for August 2004 in Mauritius,
would be extremely important to address the vulnerabilities of small islands. He
said that if nothing were done about global warming and rising sea levels, some
islands in the Pacific Ocean would just disappear. Asked about a free trade zone
in the Caribbean, he said that such a zone would not change the political status
of the islands.
Asked about his discussion with Haiti’s President Aristide when he was at
the UN last week, Mr. Hunte said: "As you know, I’ve been actively
involved in Haiti, representing Prime Minister Kenneth Anthony, who is in charge
of justice and governance. I do get the impression that the situation there is
easing a bit. As you know, they have now introduced a special envoy, and he has
been doing work with the opposition groups and with the government, with the
expressed intention of ensuring that an electoral council is formed. As of when
the electoral council is formed, this will then facilitate an election being
held that would be deemed to be more credible than if it were done otherwise.
The problem that constitutes Haiti now is that elections are constitutionally
due in January of 2004. So something has got to give, something has to be done.
Beyond that I can’t comment except to say that Haiti is very close to my
heart; I can only hope that the situation there will be resolved in a way that
will give the people – what concerns me a lot is the human suffering of the
people of Haiti. Sometimes I believe, and I’m not attributing this to any
government or political party or what have you, but very often in the whole
equation I sometimes get the impression that the people are the ones who are
forgotten. I hope, and will continue to work -- in my discussions with the
President, I did offer my continued support, and I have been following up,
despite the fact that time is so limited in terms of being able to do things
other than what I’m doing here at the GA. So, that is where it’s at."
Right to Speak Its Mind
By Tony Best
United Nations, New York, September 26, 2003 (CNS NEWS)
Barbados may be small, but it intends to speak up on any
in which it has an interest or concern. It believes the
United Nations and
the multilateral system are the mechanisms to be used to solve
That reminder and bit of advice were delivered to the United
Assembly by the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Billie
said in a foreign policy statement that the Caribbean country
right to express its views on global issues of concern to its
Without referring to the U.S. or linking that statement to the
controversy and the criticisms which were directed at Barbados
Administration officials after the island-nation had voiced its
to the unilateral invasion of the Persian Gulf state by an
coalition of military forces, Miller put the UN on notice that
wouldn't be cowed into silence.
"As members of this organization [UN], we are assured that
our voice will be
heard regardless of our size or economic power," she
we may not have the capacity to influence situations by way of
military, economic or even political power, but we do cherish
our right to
express our opinions about any issue of concern to us, without
On Iraq, Miller said that "some of the most intractable
problems facing the
international community" this year "and beyond,"
were the "divisions,
uncertainties and doubts, which have emerged since the U.S.-led
PAN AMERICAN HEALTH
Barbados to Replace Jamaica on
PAHO Executive Committee
By Tony Best
Washington, D.C., September 29, 2003 (CNS
After an absence of about a decade, Barbados is taking its place
on the executive committee of the Pan American Health
last week to a three-year term, Barbados will replace Jamaica.
The election took place at the annual meeting of ministers of
health of PAHO
member-countries that ended Friday in Washington. Barbados,
Costa Rica and
Argentina were chosen to replace El Salvador, Jamaica and
was the top vote getter in the election.
Dr. Jerome Walcott, Barbados' Minister of Health, said that the
panel was crucial to the running of the Western Hemisphere's
regional health agency, which is a part of the World Health
"We try to have Caricom representation on the Executive
because Jamaica was coming off, we decided to seek to be its
said the Minister. "It is a very important committee. It is
the one that
more or less plans what will be done in PAHO for the year. It
has under its
command the planning and programming of PAHO. It also has a lot
things, like the relationship with NGOs. It is the center of
Barbados last served on the committee in 1992.