Tue | Dec 6, 2016

PM leads delegation to US-Caribbean summit

Published:Saturday | January 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will lead Jamaica's team to the United States for next week's Clean Energy Security Summit of Caribbean Community leaders and to meet with United States Vice-president Joseph R. Biden.

Simpson Miller will also attend the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in San José, Costa Rica.

The prime minister will return to Jamaica on January 29. During her working travel overseas, Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill will be in charge of the Government.

Today, Simpson Miller will travel to Washington D.C. for the Clean Energy Summit, which takes place at the US Department of State on January 25 and 26 and will also include representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organisation of American States and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The summit, which will also be attended by Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell, is a follow-up on the US vice-president's May 2013 meeting with Caribbean leaders in Trinidad and Tobago, where the leaders agreed to work to promote energy security in the region.

It is expected that the discussions will lead to cooperation to address the energy challenges facing the region, identify ways to increase investment in energy initiatives and promote the development and use of renewable energy.

The anticipated outcomes of the Clean Energy Conference include a shared commitment to pursuing energy reforms, increased information sharing among countries, and improved effective-ness of donor coordination on energy-related assistance to Caribbean countries.

On January 28 and 29, the prime minister will attend the CELAC Summit, which will be chaired by Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, president of the Republic of Costa Rica.

Other members of Jamaica's delegation to the meeting include Senator A.J. Nicholson, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade; and Onika Miller, permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.

CELAC is an important co-operation mechanism comprising all 33 states in Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides a useful forum for discussion on issues of priority to Jamaica such as cooperation in transport-ation, energy, trade, security, environment and climate change. CELAC also represents a market of 600 million people or approximately nine per cent of the global population and a GDP of US$5.6 trillion in 2012, thereby offering much scope for Jamaica to enhance and diversify opportunities in trade, investment and tourism.