PM Gonsalves meets key world figures on NYC trip
October 4, 2013

PM Gonsalves meets key world figures on NYC trip

Fri Oct 04, 2013

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says that he had several meetings with key figures on the world scene, during his trip to New York city last week.{{more}}

The Prime Minister travelled to the United States on Sunday September 22, and the week he spent there, had as its highlight his address to the United Nations on September 27, and a town hall meeting the following day. Gonsalves addressed a reparations meeting in Harlem on Tuesday 24, following which he was presented with a proclamation by African American Senator Bill Perkins.

Some of the world leaders Gonsalves held bilateral meetings with included the Emir of Qatar, the President of Palestine, the prime ministers of New Zealand, Ghana and Ethiopia, as well as the foreign minsters of Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Prime Minister stated that he also met with other high level leaders at different functions over the week.

“All the countries with whom I have had bilaterals, they have invited me to visit their countries and I have invited them in turn,” Gonsalves said, at a press conference held Monday at Cabinet Room.

According to the Prime Minister, education, culture, information, trade and investment were common and consistent themes of the meetings, along with the discussions concerning reparations with the African nations.

The issue of the international airport at Argyle was also discussed with Qatar.

“As you are aware, we have signed five agreements with Qatar and we have had, on two occasions, teams from Qatar coming here to work with us on certain matters and we now have to see the actual manifestations….

“And I will be going to Qatar some time around close to mid November, because I have to speak at an international gathering with National Insurance Services and the emir has asked that I put aside some time to see him when I go there.”

The Prime Minister also attended the yearly Clinton Global initiative, where one of the key topics discussed was energy in the Caribbean.

He said at that event, it was announced that solar energy provider NRG Energy Inc. and mobile provider Digicel would be teaming up to invest US$100 million in renewable energy in the region.

Gonsalves said that he had already spoken to CEO of St Vincent Electricity Services (VINLEC) Thornley Myers, and CEO of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) Dr Rudy Matthias about the initiative.

“As you know, we want to put in a solar system at the airport, and I also had discussion with Mr Maurice Edwards (Director General of Finance and Planning) who is one of the leading members on the board at VINLEC.

“Interestingly, there was a recent conference on energy, and St Vincent and the Grenadines has been given great credit for its work, where VINLEC has invested in solar and the way in which we are promoting the issue.”

The Prime Minister returned to the state on September 29.