Human resource development is critical to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and to the continued development of Caribbean nations.

This view was expressed today by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Gayle Francis-Vaughan, in her address at the opening of a three-day Sustainable Development workshop at the General Post Office for middle and senior management postal workers from around the region.

???The members of the Caribbean Postal Union identified this need for human resources development and capacity building as a priority for technical assistance,??? she said.

Techniques identified to meet these needs include a knowledge transfer component that involved training the trainer; partnership arrangements for mentoring; and the setting up of a training facility to meet the developing needs of senior postal personnel in ministries and among designated operators.

Quoting statistics which indicate that there were 6,246 postal employees in the region processing an average of 33.5 million items per employee per year, Mrs. Francis-Vaughan pointed out that a postal-specific training facility was needed to ensure that best practices were employed.

Advisor to La Poste, France, Patrick Widloecher, stated that the post had a social and moral responsibility to the public it served in keeping people connected, and in informing the population about diseases to prevent their spread.

He noted that the post played a critical role in restoring on-the-ground contact with the population in Japan following the recent large earthquake; and preventing the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa and the chikungunya virus in the Caribbean.

Twenty-one participants from across the Caribbean are attending the workshop, which concludes on Thursday. It will cover topics such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Risk Management, Measurement of Environmental Impacts, Health Issues and Ethics.

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