Wed | Jun 29, 2022

Scotland on trip around Caribbean

Published:Saturday | May 21, 2022 | 6:22 PM
Commonwealth secretary-general, Patricia Scotland.

Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland is currently in St Kitts and Nevis to attend the three-day eighth Annual Conference of the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies (CCAICACB) from May 23 to 25.

She is to be guest speaker at the conference.

Her trip is part of a broader journey around the Caribbean, a release from the Commonwealth Secretariat stated, that began on May 21 and will end on the 31st. During her time in the eastern Caribbean she will hold bilateral talks with Commonwealth leaders and senior officials in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St Lucia.

She will also speak at the Commonwealth Regional Data Science and Innovation Ecosystem Workshop, to be held in Antigua and Barbuda from May 30 to June 1.

Scotland is being challenged by Jamaica's foreign minister, Kamina Johnson Smith for the post of secretary-general, although Scotland insists that there is no vacancy, with two years left in her eight-year term.

Johnson Smith's candidature has spurred criticism among some in the Caribbean Community, including current head, Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who has called her candidature a “monumental error,” saying it risks dividing the regional group that has given overwhelming support to Scotland for a second term.

Johnson Smith received the backing of the United Kingdom, which publicly announced its support for her candidature this week. The Maldives and Singapore have already endorsed her.

Scotland's first term, which has been extended until the next elections, has been marred by questions of her governance. She has denied the allegations against her.

The UK, Australia and New Zealand had cut their funding of the organisation that is headed by Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Tuvalu also has a candidate in the race.

The elections will take place at next month's meeting of Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda.  

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