Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dame Billie Miller, greets newly appointed UNICEF Area Representative, Tom Olsen.
The United Nation’s Children Fund, UNICEF, is seeking to establish “for the first time a special Caribbean Board” to strengthen its cooperation in the region.
This disclosure was made yesterday when that organisation’s newly appointed Area Representative, Tom Olsen, called on Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dame Billie Miller, at her Culloden Road office.
According to Mr. Olsen, at the just concluded UNICEF Executive Board meeting, a request was made for Grenada’s Minister with responsibility for social development to sit on the Board. This, he said, would serve to highlight the region as he intends to examine ways in which to “work with the Caribbean in the future”.
In response, Minister Miller stated that she was aware of the Board and the budgetary difficulties for funding programmes in the Caribbean. She expressed her satisfaction with the collaborative efforts between UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Transformation particularly in its HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
Dame Billie also pointed out that health care remained high on the agenda of CARICOM Heads of Government and she made reference to the setting up a National HIV/AIDS Commission here, the free access to anti retroviral drugs to persons afflicted with the disease and the proactive work being done by UN special envoy, Sir George Alleyne, the former PAHO Director.
Mr. Olsen opined that Barbados had done well and was a model for the region. He said it was imperative for countries to continue to develop and look at the next goal. “This is about social investment for the children, that’s what UNICEF is about,” he remarked.