JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson left the island yesterday (Sunday, Nov. 20) for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, which will be held under the theme “Networking the Commonwealth for Development.”
As the theme suggests, the Summit is expected to afford Member States the opportunity to discuss the important issue of bridging the digital divide and identify ways to strengthen mutual cooperation and investment in Information and Communications Technology within the Commonwealth. It will also seek to enhance cooperation for prosperity, development and democracy, using the Commonwealth network to achieve these goals.
The development agenda and the UN Millennium Development Goals are expected to feature prominently at the CHOGM and Leaders will have the opportunity to take action on important global issues including international trade, the fight against poverty, and global security.
At the special Retreat Sessions, Heads will consider issues relating to governance and capacity building, combating terrorism and the promotion of tolerance, trade, poverty eradication and networking for development. The future of ACP/EU relations and the trade capacity challenges facing ACP countries will be among the trade issues discussed at the retreat.
Jamaica has benefited from its membership in the Commonwealth through the opportunity it provides for the sharing of experiences, best practices, skills and information across international boundaries.
This has been of particular relevance in the areas of local government, debt management, public sector reform, the “digital divide”, the concerns of young people, aquaculture, tourism planning, science and technology and human resource development.
Initiatives developed to foster vocational education and training to raise standards of living in developing Commonwealth countries, have also been of significant benefit to Jamaica.
During his absence Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, Minister of National Security, will be in charge of the Government.