Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley updated leaders from around the region on his government’s progress with the Commission of Inquiry recommendations last week at the 43rd Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Paramaribo, Suriname.

“Government reforms are progressing well,” Dr. Wheatley told the regional meeting of presidents, prime ministers and other leaders during the July 3-5 event. “Previously initiated reforms have been integrated into our reform programme mutually agreed with the United Kingdom.”

The premier also committed to keeping Caricom updated on future progress, according to Government Information Services.

Additionally, he thanked the leaders for their support during the territory’s recent political turmoil, and he pledged to reciprocate as Caricom works to respond to regional and international challenges.

“The British Virgin Islands is a proud associate member of Caricom and will remain fully engaged as we tackle challenges together as a region,” he said.

UN leader

In the margins of the conference, Dr. Wheatley also met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and thanked him for the UN’s support with sustainable development and the Covid-19 response in the territory.

“I was also very pleased that he is aware of our ongoing ef- forts to achieve the [UN] Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” the premier said.

Additionally, Dr. Wheatley held a courtesy telephone call with Didier Trebucq, UN resident coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

They discussed continued cooperation between the VI and UN on a joint programme for social protection and youth economic empowerment, according to GIS.

They also pledged to explore other areas of technical assistance where the UN can assist the VI in achieving the SDGs, GIS stated.

Dr. Wheatley was joined in Suriname by Benito Wheatley, his special envoy; and Dwynel Davis, assistant secretary for external affairs.
Suriname currently holds the chairmanship of Caricom under the leadership of President Chandrikapersad Santokhi.