21 July 2011

Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission Established; activities from 25-29 July


by Maurice Merchant

ST. JOHN¹S, Antigua ­ July 19, 2011 The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to announce that the committee established in 2007 to commemorate the Bicentenary Anniversary of the Abolition of the British Empire Atlantic Slave Trade will now be officially called the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission.

The Commission will continue to lead national initiatives, programmes, discussions and activities on issues pertaining to the institution of slavery, emancipation and reparation. It has the mandate to:

· lead national reflection on the institution of slavery which was at the heart of profound social and economic inequality, hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.

· identify, design and promote programmes for the commemoration of the abolition of slavery.

· honour the memory of those who died as a result of one of the worst acts of violation of human rights in the history of humanity.

· organize activities to include education and awareness programmes concerning reparations for the enslavement of our ancestors and establish links with organizations with similar mandates.

· foster deeper ideological, social and economic connections with people of African descent in the Diaspora and continental Africa.

Dorbrene O¹Marde has been appointed as Chair-person and Ambassador Anthony Liverpool as Deputy Chair-person with a directive to recruit persons either formally or informally to assist with the design and execution of plans and programmes in support of the mandate. Other members appointed to the Commission are:

 King Frank-I Francis
 Colin Cumberbatch
Saiid Greene
 Dr. Lester Simon
Reg Murphy
Ivor Jackson
Ermina Osaba
Strickland Joseph
 Donna Chaia
Mali Olatunji.

In preparations for the upcoming emancipation celebrations the Commission will be hosting an Emancipation Sunday celebration on July 31st at Betty¹s Hope and an Emancipation Exhibition at the Museum from July 25th to 29th 2011.

Antigua and Barbuda and Guadeloupe to Move Forward their Relations


by Maurice Merchant 

BASSE-TERRE, Guadeloupe ­

France stands ready to support concrete strategic and focused development initiatives between Guadeloupe and Antigua and Barbuda.

(OTR Note: foreign relations of Guadeloupe, as an overseas department of France, are controlled by the French state with some degree of authority for regional economic affairs delegated to the elected government of the department ).

The assurances were made to Prime Minister, Dr. Hon. W. Baldwin Spencer during a courtesy call on His Excellency, Jean Fabre, Prefect of Guadeloupe.
Welcoming Prime Minister Spencer and his delegation to his office in Basse-Terre, Mr. Fabre said cooperation between Guadeloupe and Antigua and Barbuda could begin with healthcare, tourism and the agricultural sectors. He expressed a willingness to visit St. John¹s to assist in concretizing proposals to commence the enhanced cooperation.

In expressing appreciation for the warm welcome and the fact that Antigua and Barbuda has finally decided to embark upon this historic journey, Prime Minister Spencer who is visiting Guadeloupe for the first time, stressed the significance of the Agreement and St. John¹s desire to quickly operationalize the contents of the Accord.

Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry and Mr. Jean Tibilan were identified as the persons designated by Prime Minister Spencer and Prefect Fabre to follow up on the their discussions.

The courtesy call on the Prefect was the first of several formal engagements for Prime Minister Spencer and his delegation that included a luncheon with the President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, the formal signing ceremony and an official dinner.