Prime Minister Freundel Stuart????

On the heels of announcing a Commission of Enquiry into the problems that have bedeviled the Alexandra School for over six years, with a view to bringing a satisfactory conclusion to the impasse at that institution, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will be embarking on a different mission from this weekend, as he sets out to further promote Barbados’ interest overseas.

That is when he commences a hectic schedule of engagements during a planned five-day visit to Washington DC.
This coming Sunday, several Barbadians living in and around the Washington, DC area will get an opportunity to hear about developments back home, how they can contribute to their homeland, and particularly how the country is weathering the current global economic downturn, when the Prime Minister addresses them.

It takes the form of a Town Hall Meeting at the Bishop John T. Walker National Learning Centre, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, for the Barbadian diaspora, and is likely to attract nationals living in Washington, as well as those from the bordering states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The Prime Minister is expected to use the occasion to not only interact with and bring Barbadians up to date on happenings at home, but also to further promote participation in this year’s Diaspora Network Consultation, slated for the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in August. That forum should see participation from nationals living in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe.

According to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sunday’s town-hall meeting will be streamed live on its website to facilitate access by those persons who are unable to attend.

Mr. Stuart will fulfill a number of speaking engagements while in the US capital. On Monday, April 23, he will address the Centre for Strategic and International Studies on the Challenges of Caribbean Economies and Society in a Turbulent World. Participation in that event will also come from US policy makers, the diplomatic community, the private sector and non-governmental organisations. The Centre is a well-known think-tank and public forum for discussion on a range of international policy issues and global challenges.

The following day, Tuesday, April 24, the Prime Minister will speak at the 2012 Congressional Gala of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation, where he will deliver a paper on The Importance of Oceans’ Conservation to Human Livelihoods and Well-being.??

His busy schedule in Washington will also include an address to a session of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) on Wednesday, April 25.?? Mr. Stuart will be the first Barbadian leader to address a session of the Permanent Council of the OAS since the 1980s.

While in Washington, he will pay brief courtesy calls on the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno; the outgoing President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick; the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde; and the acting Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin, of Suriname.

Mr. Stuart is expected to return to Barbados on Thursday, April 26. In his absence, Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, will act as Prime Minister.

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