Antigua-Barbuda to host Inter-American ministerial meeting on education

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WASHINGTON, USA — Antigua and Barbuda will host the tenth Inter-American meeting of education ministers in July 2019. This was confirmed on Monday at a meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development at the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC.

The bid to host the meeting was successfully negotiated by the Antigua and Barbuda minister of education, Michael Browne, in February this year, with the formal offer and acceptance taking place on Monday.

Speaking at the Council meeting, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador, Sir Ronald Sanders, told the other 33 assembled ambassadors and other delegates that “Antigua and Barbuda places immense value on the role of education”.

He explained that the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) “strongly believe that the effect of education is multi-dimensional”.

Sanders declared: “By creating a better-educated society, we lift people out of poverty; we expand the capacity for entrepreneurial development; and create a more vibrant economy with more employment and less crime. We increase the earnings of our people and improve their standard of living. In doing so, CARICOM countries underscore their social stability and enhance security. In turn, this process re-enforces the attractiveness as a homeland to our people and helps to ensure that they have no need to become political or economic refugees, exposing themselves to the perils of seeking asylum elsewhere.”

Addressing democracy and human rights issues which the Council meeting also considered.

“Education is vital to upholding democracy and safeguarding human rights. Indeed, neither democracy nor human rights is possible in circumstances of inadequate education, economic decline and, social and political instability,” Sanders said.

The ambassador pointed out that “when the Inter-American ministers of education meeting convenes in Antigua in July next year, it will be the tenth such meeting since 1998, and the fourth held in a CARICOM country, underlying the vital importance the sub-region places in education as an instrument of economic growth, social stability and security”.

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