Skerrit – Caricom support ‘overwhelming’ for Baroness Scotland
3 hours ago
February 20, 2020
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said heads of government of CARICOM have expressed their “overwhelming” support for the renewal of the term of office for Secretary General Baroness Scotland.
Scotland, a Dominican by birth is under pressure from the international community to resign from her position of Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
But Skerrit who spoke on the sidelines of the Thirty-First Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, said the grouping is standing behind Scotland.
He said at the meeting, heads of governments also expressed their gratitude for her achievement during her tenure.
“Heads of governments expressed our gratitude for the range of activities undertaken by the Commonwealth Secretariat whose added value redounded to the benefit of small island and low lying coastal developing states,” he said.
According to Skerrit who has been one of Scotland’s main supporters, the heads of government also expressed support for the renewal of the term of office of the secretary general.
“We do hope that when we meet in Rwanda, the current holder of the post of secretary general will receive a second term in that very important office,” he said.
Skerrit said heads of CARICOM also engaged Scotland “directly and frankly” on the issues leveled against her in the media.
But he said CARICOM remained satisfied and accepted the responses given by her as “legitimate”.
The questions about Scotland’s future leadership of the Commonwealth came after she was criticized by internal auditors last November for awarding a lucrative consultancy contract to a company run by her friend.
The audit committee report also found that the Secretariat had no register of either tender waivers or conflicts of interest and was unable to explain why not.
That committee also identified 50 occasions between July 2015 and June 2018 when the usual procurement tenders had been waited by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Baroness Scotland has always denied any wrongdoing
Scotland’s four-year term of office as secretary general comes to an end next month.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be backing moves to persuade Amina Mohamed, a 58-year-old Kenyan politician, to challenge Baroness Scotland if she refuses to stand down.