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St Vincent and the Grenadines hosts regional conference on reparations
Published on September 17, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent -- Representatives of governments, civil society, academia and individuals fighting the cause of reparations for native genocide and slavery, are meeting in St Vincent and the Grenadines for a regional conference on reparations.

The conference, hosted by the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, runs from 15-17 September, and is the first major event on reparations following the thirty-fourth conference of the heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Trinidad and Tobago in July.

At the summit, heads of government agreed to the establishment of a national reparations committee in each member state with the chair of each committee sitting on a CARICOM reparations commission. The heads of government of Barbados (chair), St Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago were identified to provide political oversight.

The Community’s approach would be to hold a development conversation and to use all reasonable avenues to reach an amicable solution on reparations.

The three-day conference includes a meeting of the CARICOM Reparations Commission on Tuesday.

Gonsalves raised the matter of the conference during a brief interaction with staff members of the CARICOM Secretariat on Monday 9 September when he visited Georgetown, and stressed that “we have to repair the legacy of colonialism and neo-colonialism”.

Professors Sir Hilary Beckles and Verene Shepherd, as well as famed Jamaican reggae artiste Bunny Wailer, are among those who will make presentations at the three-day conference.

Bunny Wailer (born Neville O’Riley Livingston) was due to perform at the opening, and make a presentation on behalf of the Rastafarians the following day.

The Community’s approach would be to hold a development conversation and to use all reasonable avenues to reach an amicable solution on reparations.
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