Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon is now in Bridgetown, Barbados, leading a Jamaican delegation to a joint regional conference of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon in Barbados.
The conference which is supported by the European Union is also being attended by Councillor for the Cornwall Mountain Division of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, Dawnette Foster and Councillor for the Stony Hill Division of the KSAMC, Torsha Shwapp.
Some 75 delegates are in attendance at the conference, representing countries with sub-national systems of government such as Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Deputy Mayor Vernon said “the conference will provide the opportunity for delegates to exchange on key issues facing local government in the Caribbean such as the ongoing social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic, local government’s role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building resilience in the face of climate and economic shocks. The first day of the conference will hold two day-long parallel sessions”.
He added that women in Local Government will also be a topic of discussion looking at “the framework of CLGF’s Commonwealth Women in Local Government Network (ComWLG), on women’s political inclusion and the other on municipal financial management delivered in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as part of the wider CLGF/CDB project.”
The Montego Bay Deputy Mayor added that the conference will provide an opportunity for regional exchange and for the setting of priorities for ongoing work in the Caribbean, as well as provide members with an overview of the priorities for key donors and partners. A statement will be issued at the end of the conference which will guide the way forward and document undertakings.”
The main objectives of the conference are : To disseminate the outcomes and lessons learnt from the CLGF Regional Programme 2019- 2022; 2) To reflect on women’s political inclusion in the Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth and explore strategies to increase women’s representation and voice in local government 3) To explore the role of local government in Post COVID recovery and agree on key priorities for CLGF in the region; 4) To reflect on the impact of climate change and the need to prioritize sustainable urbanization in the region to ensure local government is in a position to play its full role in providing inclusive, safe, resilient & sustainable communities; 5) To better understand the capacity needs with regard to public financial management within local government in the Caribbean 6) To dialogue with development partners in the region and develop strategies and partnerships to mobilize resources and programming commitments for the sector.
The Conference is building upon the following similar events: 1) The CLGF meetings held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2016 and 2018 which addressed the role of local government in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2) The launch of the Caribbean Local Economic Development Programme (CARILED) in Belize in 2012, This launched the 6-year project to develop and test models of Local Economic Development (LED) across the Caribbean, implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in partnership with CALGA, CFLGM and CLGF. CLGF’s 2019-2022 Caribbean Programme.
This Regional gathering is the first opportunity for face-to-face interactions and exchanges. Project and workshop facilitation services were provided by CLGF Caribbean. Proposed participants The Joint conference will bring together Local Government Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, and national Associations, members of the emerging Commonwealth Women in Local Government Network of the Caribbean, together with CLGF’s Secretary General, Programme Manager, and Regional Staff.