Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is all set to participate in the COP 28 scheduled to be held in Dubai next week. Speaking during the press conference, he said that the agenda of his conference will be climate financing.
Besides this, Prime Minister Skerrit also touched on many critical points in the press conference in regard to his recent visit to UAE and held discussions about his forthcoming projects.
COP 28 conference
The Prime Minister is going to participate in the upcoming conference of the Twenty-eighth Parties Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to address the issue of Climate financing.
Notably, he will lead the delegation to the highly anticipated climate summit next week to address various stakeholders at COP28.
The main focus of his participation is to improve small states’ access to critical financial resources, which is needed to build resilience against climate change.
He stated, “The lives of our people are at risk, and so I will stay true to the pledge that I have made to the Dominican people and, of course, the wider Caribbean region to keep fighting for more equitable distribution of climate financing.”
Salary increments for Public Officers and Cabinet
The government is engaged in the reclassification exercise of public service and looks at the job descriptions, the terms of engagement, and the emoluments to provide salaries and allowances for all public officers and police officers.
As the police services fall under a different act, the reclassification exercise was approved by the parliament in terms of the salary increases for officers.
Notably, over 3,000 public officers saw an increase in their salaries, ranging from between six and thirteen per cent.
The increase in salaries is not only for the cabinet but also for the parliamentarians, as last time, the parliament approved an increase for parliamentarians.
PM Skerrit stated that as per the 2007 budget, the parliamentary salaries were fixed against that of public servants. So, if public servants get an increase in salaries, then the parliament would get an increase in the pay scale.
Notably, during that period of time, there were only a few officers whose salaries were higher than that of the Prime Minister and other ministers of the parliamentarians.
Remarks on the CBI Programme
PM Skerrit commented that he has been very transparent with the engagements on this matter at all levels. It is to be noted that the biggest voice in this matter is the protection and advocacy with respect to its citizenship investment program.
He further stated that he has the privilege of engaging government, stakeholders, organizations, international financial organizations, and their security architecture with CARICOM and others.
It is to be added in the remarks of the Prime Minister that they have engaged the United States Treasury Department in this matter with the European Union and the EU Commission on immigration on the CBI program.
Recent visits of PM Skerrit
PM Skerrit discussed his participation in two important conferences and summits, which touched on the importance of partnerships in addressing global challenges.
Notably, he addressed media conferencing on November 15 and took the outline of the challenges of CARICOM states and the need for collective action to confront the multiple crises.
He urges the other developed countries to take responsibility for climate financing and fulfilling their commitments in the Paris Accord, where climate concern is concerned.
Recently, PM Skerrit also co-chaired the inaugural CARICOM-Saudi summit, which has given a platform to discuss the potential areas of alliance between member states and Saudi Arabia.
The key discussions were in regard to the following,
– Health and Education
– Climate change
– Infrastructure development
– Maritime cooperation
– Food security
The major preoccupation of the Dominican public is Dominic and Lochede. It is to be noted that the government is doing everything to alleviate the frustrations and anxiety by reducing the need for load shedding in Dominica.
Dominica has advised that the available capacity is now three megawatts, which is what is required to avoid load shedding in Dominica.
Reconstruction of Trafalgar Power Station
PM Skerrit confirmed the Trafalgar pipeline, which was damaged by the landslide, will be restored by the end of this week. However, maintenance work to avoid further risk to the pipelines will continue until mid-December.
The Trafalgar Power Station is expected to be functional and back online by the third week of December. Notably, the one unit of the power station accounting for 1.4 megawatts of power should be back online by November 30, 2023.
PM Skerrit added that Dominica has entered into a rental agreement with Agrico, a US-based generator rental firm, to lease two units generating three megawatts of electricity.
These 3 megawatts arrived on November 10, and they should be active by November 30, 2023. This initiative will boost Dominica’s generation capacity and provide relief from the load shedding.
Notably, the Dominican government secured an additional generator unit amounting to 4.8 megawatts of power, which will be leased to Dominica by the government.
Therefore, these generators will shift to Dominica on December 2, which will address the generation capacity by replacing old generators.
PM Skerrit remarks on Guyana-Venezuela border issues
PM Skerrit, while commenting on the Guyana-Venezuela border issues, said that they are in touch with both countries as they believe in the territorial sovereignty of all countries.
He stated that the Venezuelan government has decided to carry out a referendum in order to address this border situation. Dominica extended his support to facilitate a possible resolution to this long-standing sovereign issue.
Lightning situation at Windsor Park Stadium
The Prime Minister responded to the lighting situation at Windsor Park Stadium and said that the work was suspended as there were some technical issues that needed to be resolved by the Ministry because the Ministry had gone ahead and given the lightning in two phases.
The second phase would be procurement of the lights and the light fixtures; however, there is the possibility that the bases may not fit the light. Therefore, they had to suspend the work to ensure that both were aligned.