PM Douglas Gets Update From Caribbean Ambassadors

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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 18, 2011 (CUOPM)

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, has received an update from Caribbean ambassadors in New York in relation to the upcoming United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The High Level Meeting will be held on September 19th and 20th at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Dr. Douglas, in his capacity as the Chairman of CARICOM and the regional integration movement’s Lead Head with responsibility for Health and Human Resource Development, was Guest at the special meeting on Tuesday of the Caucus of CARICOM Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives at the United Nations.

The meeting chaired by the Permanent Representative of Barbados and the current chair of the caucus, His Excellency, Ambassador Joseph Goddard.

The meeting was planned for visiting Prime Minister Douglas to be updated on the state of negotiations of the Outcome Document intended to be the Political Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) for the UN High Level Meeting.

In this regard, Prime Minister Douglas received reports from His Excellency Ambassador Raymond Wolfe, the Permanent Representative of the Jamaican Mission and one of the Co-Facilitators in the negotiations, and who was ably supported by Mr. Troy Torrington of Guyana, who represented the views of the positions/views of the G77 and China during the negotiations.

A lively discussion of the key issues to date ensued having had inputs from several Ambassadors and Dr. Karen Sealey, PAHO’s Representative at the United Nations, who has been working with stakeholders on the preparation for this HLM on NCDs.

Prime Minister Douglas has expressed satisfaction that much work has been done and thanked all the Ambassadors for their dedicated work, including Ambassador St. Clair for keeping the CCS informed of the ongoing issues.

“These need to be settled quickly with skill and diplomacy,” said Prime Minister Douglas, “being mindful of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. We must not allow our differences to dilute the impact of our political commitment as world leaders to fight the economic and social challenge that the epidemic of NCDs poses to our survival and development.”

Dr. Douglas reiterated the need for full attendance and participation of all Heads of State and Government and, in the media statement, made a special appeal to the Heads of the Caribbean Community and the Commonwealth of Nations to take ownership and attend this UN High Level Meeting on NCDs.

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