Caribbean Debt Network 4th Conference

Religious leaders from around the Caribbean will gather in Grenada next week, for the fourth conference on debt servicing of sovereign states and how this debt can affect the most vulnerable members of society.

The Conference of Churches in Grenada and its “offspring body” the Caribbean Debt Network, will be holding the conference for religious leaders 20 and 21 October at the Upper House, Grand Anse.

Like the previous workshops, the participants will mostly be representatives of the social partners in Grenada (trade unions, private sector and non-governmental organisations) as well as some regional representatives.

The Government of Grenada has been very supportive and has engaged in the process at the highest level. The participants at this conference will be Catholic and Anglican bishops or their representatives, from Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis, Bahamas, and Puerto Rico, as well as representatives of the Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches and the Salvation Army.

Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Nicholas Girasoli, is also expected to be present on the first day and to present a statement. Also expected is a very strong delegation from Jubilee USA that will include a representative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and representatives of other churches.

The input will include an overview of the debt situation with particular focus on the most critically indebted countries of the region by Mr. Jurgen Kaiser (Jubilee Germany). The Hon. Oliver Joseph, Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Timothy Antoine, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, will speak on Grenada’s experience with emphasis on fiscal responsibility. The director of Jubilee USA, Mr Eric LeCompte, will speak on the global Jubilee movement and the role of the churches. Also anticipated to be in attendance is Ms Gail Hurley from the UNDP to share some ideas on the way forward for small island states.

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