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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 30, 2008 (CUOPM)
The St. Lucia-based Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has announced the appointment of St. Kitts – Nevis born Ms. Shirley Skerrit-Andrew as the new OECS Ambassador to Brussels.
“I confirm the appointment,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Astona Browne.
Mrs. Browne said the new OECS Ambassador is to meet shortly with Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and Minister of International Trade, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris before traveling to Brussels to take up her appointment.
The OECS Mission in Brussels represents the interests of some OECS Member States to the European Union and along with Missions in Ottawa and Geneva forms part of the OECS programme of joint overseas representation.
Her Excellency Ambassador Skerrit-Andrew is an economist by training and becomes the Federation’s first non-resident female ambassador.
“Her appointment comes at a critical juncture in OECS relations with Europe, as OECS Member States move towards the implementation phase of the recently signed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Europe and CARIFORUM – which includes the six independent OECS Member States,” the OECS said in a statement.
Ambassador Skerrit-Andrew has identified the EPA as a major area of focus for the OECS Brussels Mission as it provides support for the region’s adjustment from a non-reciprocal to a largely reciprocal trading relationship with Europe. She plans to also place emphasis on helping to secure the timely disbursement of promised development assistance to OECS Member States from the European Development Fund (EDF).
Ambassador Skerrit-Andrew was until recently the lead official in the partnership between her native St. Kitts and Nevis and the European Commission’s regional Office in Barbados. She has also worked in the United Kingdom and as an Economic Planner in Jamaica. She has also had a stint as a freelance journalist.
Ambassador Skerrit-Andrew has a deep interest in environmental matters and has devoted considerable time to alternative energy issues, including the ongoing exploration of potential geo-thermal energy sites on Nevis and the development of bio fuels as a bi-product of sugar cane. She has also developed a strong involvement with arts and culture.