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February 23, 1999



The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Christopher Thomas, leaves Washington on Tuesday for St. Lucia where he will deliver the keynote address Wednesday for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Annual Policy Review. Ambassador Thomas will speak on "Foreign Policy Challenges for the Caribbean in the Twenty-First Century."

The adjustments towards industrialization and a larger productive and manufacturing base are some of the options Ambassador Thomas put forward that he said the region’s countries should explore.

In his presentation to the St. Lucian government officers, Ambassador Thomas will explore the shifts in the global arena, underscoring the need for small states like those of the Caribbean to constantly review their foreign policy in order to craft strategies that are consistent with vital national interests. Such a review is necessary as the new millenium approaches and against the backdrop of a globalization that is progressively eroding autonomy of national decision-making.

The formal opening session of the meeting will be attended by the heads of St. Lucia’s overseas diplomatic missions, staff of the Foreign Ministry, ministers of government and heads of government departments, as well as private sector representatives, among others.

The OAS deputy chief, who is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, was invited by St. Lucia’s Foreign Minister, George Odlum, to be keynote speaker for the Review Meeting which, for the first time, will this year involve a public session.