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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Simpson Miller left the island Sunday to participate in bilateral meetings and activities at the 8th Annual EDD.
  • The European Development Days event is Europe's premier forum on international affairs and development cooperation.
  • The Prime Minister will be a high level speaker at the Opening Plenary.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller left the island Sunday to participate in bilateral meetings and activities at the 8th Annual European Development Days (EDD) organised by the European Commission.

The European Development Days event is Europe’s premier forum on international affairs and development cooperation. This year’s programme is focused on “A decent life for all by 2030 – Building a consensus for a new development agenda”.  The Prime Minister will be a high level speaker at the Opening Plenary and will also deliver a statement at the high level panel on ‘Women’s Empowerment post-2015’,  on Tuesday, November 26. At the ‘Women in Parliament Global Forum’ on Wednesday, November 27, Prime Minister Simpson Miller will deliver a keynote address on “Women in Parliament”. 

The European Union is Jamaica’s largest donor of grant resources and is an invaluable development partner. The grant assistance provided through the European Development Fund has been of significant benefit to Jamaica. Since 1975, Jamaica has received some €1.2 billion from the European Union. Jamaica also benefits from funding from the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Programme, the Special Framework of Assistance to Bananas and the Accompanying Measures for Bananas Programme. During her visit, Prime Minister Simpson Miller will meet with high level officials of the European Commission to discuss Jamaica’s cooperation programme with the EU and other bilateral issues.

The Prime Minister will also participate in a meeting of the Board of Trustees of UNITAR in Geneva. UNITAR is the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and is the training arm of the United Nations system. The UNITAR Board of Trustees is the Institute’s governing body which approves the work programme and budget and formulates principles and policies that govern the Institute’s activities and operations. UNITAR serves over 27,000 beneficiaries annually through its capacity development, training and research activities throughout the world. While in Geneva, Prime Minister Simpson Miller will also engage with members of the Jamaican Diaspora, representatives of the diplomatic corps and specialised international agencies.

The Prime Minister’s delegation includes the Hon Natalie Neita Headley, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Sports and Deputy Leader of Government Business in the Houses of Parliament and the PM’s support and security staff.

The Prime Minister’s team will also be supported in Brussels by Her Excellency Vilma McNish, Ambassador and Head of Mission of Jamaica and in Geneva by His Excellency Wayne McCook, Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations and Specialised Agencies.

While the Prime Minister is on official business overseas, Dr the Hon Peter Phillips, Minister off Finance and Planning will oversee the day to day operations of the Government. The Prime Minister returns to the island on Saturday, November 30, 2013.