(Jamaica Gleaner) Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ken Baugh, said Jamaica will not suffer, as a result of its absence from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting taking place in Perth, Australia.
Dr. Baugh made the statement in a media release, responding to criticism from the Opposition People’s National Party regarding Jamaica’s absence from the meeting.
Dr. Baugh explained that former Prime Minister Bruce Golding had intended to lead the delegation to the meeting, but those plans were overtaken by his recent resignation from the post.
He said consideration was given to having the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry represent Jamaica, but that it would have been costly to send her, and that the nature of the meeting would not allow her participation in the plenary or caucuses of the Heads meeting.
Dr. Baugh said a letter of apology and regrets was written to the Australian Government and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
He said the Caricom Secretariat was also asked to convey Jamaica’s concerns about issues on the agenda, especially migration and development.