Thursday, 23 August, 2012 – The Foreign Policy Review committee headed by Former Prime Minister Dr Vaughn Lewis has concluded its research and deliberation and has submitted its report to the Government of Saint Lucia.
The committee was commission to conduct a review of the country’s external relations in the context of an ever changing global environment.
Speaking in an Exclusive Interview with the GIS,moments after receiving the report from the committee,the Minister for External Affairs Honourable Alva Baptiste said the review will better guide Saint Lucia foreign engagements.
“One of the fundamental reasons why we had the External relations review is to determine how we can strengthen existing diplomatic ties and how we can forge new relations and alliances,the review is completed and I have been presented with the final report and the Government of Saint Lucia will be meeting to ventilate the various sections of the report and thereafter we will make a formal announcement on the way forward for the external relations for us here in Saint Lucia”.
Minister Baptiste says the Government of Saint Lucia intends to make the country’s foreign policy a prime factor in resolving the economic and social problems confronting the state.
However he says as a small island developing state Saint Lucia must begin to take responsibility for its own development.
“The days when we use to get official development assistance from the United States and other parts of the world during the cold war is no more so between now and 2020 we need to ascertain how we can survive on our own in this hostile world. Our external relations can only assist us but we cannot rely exclusively on foreign assistance”.
Minister Baptiste however warns Saint Lucia`s foreign policy engagements must be defined by our strategic interests.