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PM SPENCER EXPRESSES SATISFACTION WITH OUTCOME OF SEVENTH UK-CARIBBEAN MINISTERIAL FORUM
Thursday 26th January 2012

POINT SALINES, Grenada – 23 January 2012…….Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. W. Baldwin Spencer has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Seventh UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum which concluded over the weekend in Grenad a.

“The two-day meeting highlighted the importance that both entities place on each others development and I believe that this weekend’s meeting has further strengthened our resolve to work together at the highest levels,” said PM Spencer.

On the contentious issue of the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD), Prime Minister Spencer said that he is hopeful that the pledge of continued dialogue on the issue by the United Kingdom with consideration being given to the importance of tourism to the development of the region, will result in reflection being given by the UK to make it less detrimental to the economies of the region.

The country’s leader also noted that discussions on crime and security and legislative assistance also produced positive results.

“The United Kingdom has further pledged to collaborate with the region in addressing the issue of youth crime, gangs and violence and also to improve the juvenile justice system. We will also continue to work on ways to improve on the criminal justice system in our various countries which will include the enhancement of prosecution services, and modernizing our laws of evidence with the use of forensics and best practice on gathering evidence from suspects and witnesses,” said PM Spencer.

He also noted that the region and the United Kingdom will collaborate with the Commonwealth Legislative Drafting Programme to assist with the development of criminal procedure and justice within CARICOM.

On the margins of the UK-Caribbean Forum, Prime Minister Spencer held bilateral discussions with Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK the Hon. Jeremy Brown. Both men discussed issues ranging from collaboration on an OECS Hydrographic Initiative, Energy, Climate Change, the Falklands, the appointment of Honorary Consuls to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the Air Passenger Duty.

Prime Minister Spencer is today in St. Lucia where he is attending the 53rd Meeting of the OECS Authority during which discussions are being held on an OECS Development Strategy, the Implementation of the Economic Union Treaty and International Relations issues.


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