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Brown wants Jamaica to host big foreign meetings

Published:Wednesday | July 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

JUNIOR FOREIGN Minister Arnaldo Brown wants Jamaica to put her hand up and bid to host future sessions of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly and future sessions of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Brown, contributing to the 2014-2015 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said offering to host those meetings, as well as the Summit of the Americas, could "assist the profile of the country and bring well-needed exposure to the versatility of the island".

"We have pristine facilities in Montego Bay, even in Kingston," Brown said, adding that the foreign ministry could partner with the tourism and entertainment ministry in hosting the event.

ECLAC, which was founded with the purpose of contributing to the economic development of Latin America, has never had a meeting in Jamaica. Its last session was held in Lima, Peru, in May. Trinidad and Tobago, which hosted a meeting in 1975, is the only English-speaking Caribbean nation to have hosted an ECLAC meeting.

Trinidad also hosted a Summit of the Americas meeting in 2002. This forum is used by heads of state and government of the member states of the Western Hemi-sphere to discuss common policy issues, affirm shared values, and to commit to concerted actions at the national and regional levels to address continuing and new challenges faced by countries in the Americas.