At the meeting in Jamaica, the Board will elect the next Director General, who will begin a four-year term in January 2010, in replacement of Chelston W.D. Brathwaite, from Barbados, who has been in that position since 2002 (he was re-elected in 2005).
This year, the Caribbean will be the venue for two meetings of great importance for the hemisphere: the Fifth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in April, and the aforementioned Week of Agriculture and Rural Life. “Both will be golden opportunities for key decision makers to observe the reality of the Caribbean first hand. At the same time, the hosts must create the climate of understanding and goodwill needed to seek joint solutions to the challenges of development and those posed by the world economic crisis,” Brathwaite said.
As suggested by the Minister of Agriculture of Jamaica and host of the Week, Christopher Tufton, the motto for the discussions will be “Building Capacity for Enhancing Food Security and Rural Life in the Americas,” a subject that took on special importance in the wake of the crisis in the prices of staple grains that hit the world in 2008.
With an eye to moving forward with preparations for the meetings, government officials and IICA staff member met on February 1-4 in Jamaica.
IICA was represented by the Director of Regional Operations for the Caribbean Region, Trevor Murray; the Director and the Coordinator of the Office for Follow-up of the Summit of the Americas Process, Bernardo Badani; the Technical Secretary of the Executive Committee and the IABA, Fernando Del Risco; and the IICA Representative in Jamaica, Cynthia Currie.
During their visit, the group from IICA held a seminar-workshop in which they explained in detail the Ministerial Process, and how it ties in with the Fifth Summit of the Americas.
They also went into detail regarding the role of the Jamaican government in the ministerial process, inasmuch as Minister Tufton will chair both meetings, and Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Donovan Stanberry will head and coordinate the Group for the Implementation and Coordination of the Agreements on Agriculture and Rural Life of the Summits Process (GRICA).
They also went over the topics to be discussed by the IABA, and Minister Tufton’s responsibilities as Chairman.
According to Brathwaite, these preparatory meetings “reaffirm the joint commitment of the Government of Jamaica and IICA to preparing for the Week of Agriculture and Rural Life.”
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