BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – A shared mission of advancing the Caribbean region must continue to bond the staff of the region’s leading development institution, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the political leaders who serve as its governing body, was emphasised Friday by Charles Washington Misick, premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands and chairman of the board of governors of CDB, as he addressed staff during his visit to the bank.
Praising CDB for its continued longevity and relevance as a regional institution, he underscored the shared goal of serving and advancing the Caribbean’s development agenda.
“We have a commonality, and that is to make sure that together, we create a better environment and a better quality of life for the people that we all work for. Whether we are politicians or whether we are technicians, we all have an obligation to do the best that we can for the people […] ” he stated.
Premier Misick’s visit comes ahead of the 52nd annual meeting of CDB’s board of governors which the Turks and Caicos Islands is set to host in June.
While at CDB, the chairman met with its president Dr Gene Leon and senior management of the bank, including vice-president (Corporate Services) Yvette Lemonias Seale and vice-president (Operations), Isaac Solomon, as well as the strategic advisory team.
His delegation included E. Jay Saunders, deputy premier and minister of finance, investment, and trade, Athenee Harvey-Basden, permanent secretary, finance, Miquel Swann, deputy permanent secretary, office of the premier and public policy and Bentley Johnson, Aide De Camp.
They discussed a range of issues including CDB’s work in the Turks and Caicos Islands and opportunities for strengthening the relationship between the bank and the Borrowing Member Country.
During his visit, premier Misick addressed staff and participated in an interactive question and answer session during a hybrid in-person/virtual meeting. He highlighted the issues of the climate crisis and seeking climate justice, strengthening intra-regional transportation connections, and accelerating the transition to renewable energy as some of the most pressing issues facing the region as a whole.
“I think there are big, big issues that we have to face in the Caribbean, most of which are not of our own making […]. Top of our agenda has to be the issue of the climate crisis which is now … requiring us to focus more away from the crisis and more in terms of climate justice as the prime minister of Barbados likes to say.
Another big issue we have to face is the connectivity of the region as it relates to transportation and thirdly another big issue has to do with renewable energy which goes hand in hand with the climate crisis that we face,” he elaborated.
The visit to the bank’s headquarters was familiar territory for the premier who previously served as a Governor when he was chief minister of his country.
The Turks and Caicos Islands will host CDB’s 52nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors this year. The last time the country hosted CDB’s Annual Meeting was in 2017.