Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, is calling for a national dialogue on Barbados??? post 2015 development agenda.
Her comments came in response to Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir George Alleyne???s query about the important areas Barbados wants to see implemented as part of its sustainable development agenda, during a courtesy call at the Ministry yesterday.
During the meeting, Senator McClean said the UWI would be invited to take part in the discussions and acknowledged that ???part of what should help drive the process forward is a discussion at the CARICOM level???.
???I think it should be a national agenda which is consistent with what is coming at the level of the Heads. So, I think that coming out of that meeting the recommendation will be to have a discussion based on what the Heads perceive and then that can feed in to another round of deliberations???,??? she underlined.
Sir George noted that Small Island Developing states (SIDS) had indicated that health should remain ???very central in our sustainable development goal??? and queried if there were any other aspects that Barbados wanted included in the framework.
The UWI Chancellor proffered the view that sustainability should not only be seen in economic terms.
The Foreign Minister agreed and pointed out: ???If we are talking about healthy people, particularly for a region that is plagued by Non-Communicable Diseases NCD???s. [Concentrating on] NCD???s speaks to the issue of healthy people and [by doing this] other things would flow from there. Economic considerations, productivity and other issues can only flow from a population that is healthy.???
Senator McClean noted that in an effort to maintain the health of people living in SIDS, the physical environment must also be healthy.
In turn, Sir George said if the focus of Barbados??? discourse would be on promoting the health of its people and the physical environment, then he would be willing to assist in this regard.