Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley will be attending the 73rd Meeting of the OECS Authority in St. Kitts from June 18 to 19, and the 53rd CDB Annual Heads of Government Meeting in St. Lucia from June 20 to 21.
The Premier’s attendance at these official meetings is to continue to promote the overall socio-economic and political interests of the Virgin Islands.
Premier Wheatley stated, “As leader of Government business, I will seek to further engage in strategic discussions with our regional partners as we strive together towards a sustainable future that is in alignment with our collective priority areas.”
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Inter-governmental organisation dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS Authority is the supreme policy-making body of the OECS and is responsible for the general direction and control of the performance and functions of the Organisation
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Development Bank’s Annual Heads of Government Meeting will allow the bank’s highest decision-making body to discuss critical development issues confronting the Caribbean and corresponding solutions. The meeting will be held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Philip J. Pierre.
The theme of this year’s meeting is, “Marshalling Finance for Development: Access to Adequate and Affordable Financing”. Sustainable financial solutions towards regional development and enhanced collaboration with private sector stakeholders are high on the agenda. A focus of the meeting is also deepening the bank’s outreach to the youth and strengthen engagement with potential and upcoming young regional leaders.
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Honourable Lorna G. Smith, OBE, has been appointed to act as Premier and Minister of Finance from June 18 to June 21 while Premier Wheatley is away from the Virgin Islands. The Premier is scheduled to return to the Territory on June 21.
Honourable Smith’s appointment is in accordance with Section 55 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 which states, “If the Premier is expected to be absent from the Virgin Islands for more than forty-eight hours, the Governor shall authorise the Deputy Premier to perform the functions of the office of Premier; and the Governor shall revoke this authority on the return to the Virgin Islands of the Premier.”