JIS News

Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Jose Miguel Insulza said 2007 should be a good year of growth for the Caribbean based on overall trends. He also indicated that the OAS was interested in developing projects in Jamaica especially in the area of education.
His comments were made on Tuesday (Feb. 6) during a meeting with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at Jamaica House.
In her remarks, Prime Minister Simpson Miller said education was at the centre of Jamaica’s development and that priority attention was concentrated on early childhood education. She said the government provides support for these institutions in the form of nutritional meals for students, as well as the employment of at least one trained teacher in each institution.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also pointed to community development and the empowerment of rural communities, as among the strategies that will be used to fight poverty and address some of the challenges facing the society. She outlined plans for the establishment of a residential skills training centre for youth and said that this would be driven by labour market research to determine the needs of local industries.
She said access to affordable housing in urban and rural communities as well as access to electricity, are among the areas being addressed under the government’s social development programme.
Her comments were met with the approval of the OAS Secretary General who stated that community development was an important aspect of a democratic society. Mr. Insulza said that with 34 countries in the OAS there was need for a balance between the development goals and political interests of member states. He said the OAS has had good working relations with CARICOM adding sub-regional groups were important to the successful operation of the organization.