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Three UWP members to vie for leadership at delegates conference

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Marcellin. Fontaine, Benjamin

Three members of the Opposition, United Workers Party (UWP) will seek the top leadership position when the party holds its delegates conference scheduled for Sunday, November 27, 2022, at the Goodwill Parish Hall.

This is according to the President of the party, Isaac Baptiste.

The leadership position has been opened to the members of the party since its leader, Lennox Linton resigned early last month.

Linton said in a Facebook post on October 3, that his resignation from the post of the political leader of UWP emerged from the national yearning for change “that is a must. For real change that people, especially the youth can believe in.”

“To my knowledge, there are at least three candidates who confirmed that they are interested, and pursuing the leadership of the party,” Baptiste revealed. “I do not wish to declare their names.”

He continued, “Every position in the party is up for re-election and this is what we are doing so that at the end of the month on that same day there will be new leadership of the party, determined by the delegates.”

Despite Baptiste’s unwillingness to declare the names of the nominees for election as UWP political leader, two of these nominees, Clement Marcellin and Dr. Thomson Fontaine, have confirmed their candidacy while speculation has been rife that Psychiatrist, Dr. Griffin Benjamin, although he has not made any public pronouncement on the matter, is the third candidate.

Meantime, Baptiste is discouraging the Dominican public from participating in the December 6, general elections.

“Every Dominican individually or collectively has their right to decide if they want to contest this election as an independent candidate or with others under some name,” he stated.

However, he said the UWP and the majority of patriotic organizations in Dominica have decided that “there should not be another election in Dominica without electoral reform.”

Baptiste said this is what the party is pursuing.

“But we recognize the constitutional rights of persons to decide what they want to do.”

He indicated that the candidates of the Dominica Labour Party need to consider morally if what they are doing is right.

“And I want to discourage everyone from participating including the Labour Party Candidates in the name of country,” he remarked.





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Dominica observes International Day of People with Disabilities 2022

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Dominica joins the rest of the world in observing International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPwD) today.

The annual observance of the IDPwD on 3rd December was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 47/3.

This year’s observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Former Executive Director of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) and Chairperson of the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities, Nathalie Murphy who spoke during a live interview on State-owned Radio DBS said part of today’s focus is to find innovative ways sports can be used in reducing inequality among persons with disabilities.

“The United Nations is asking the world to come together to find joint solutions to address these issues and try to find solutions to ensure that persons with disabilities can really live normal and rewarding lives,” she said.

Murphy called on Dominica in particular to pay attention to the issues affecting persons with disabilities.

“Unfortunately we didn’t organize any elaborate observation this year because of various reasons, but all we are asking is that world and Dominica in particular continue to pay attention to the issues affecting persons with disabilities and that we can come together as a country and try to find joined solutions in reducing inequalities that exist presently,” she indicated.

Furthermore, she explained that at the moment the world is going through a number of crisis including that of climate change, Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War which all these crisis affect persons with disabilities in a significant way.

This year IDPwD is observed under the theme: “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”.





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Message for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022

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Senator Floyd Morris, CARICOM Special Rapporteur on Disability

Every year, on December 3, the world recognizes International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The observation comes within the context of persons with disabilities being the world’s largest minority group and the fact that most of these individuals are marginalized in their society. The United Nations and all its States Parties have established this day therefore to celebrate the talents and abilities of persons with disabilities, whilst highlighting the barriers in society that continues to marginalize these individuals.

The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fueling an accessible and equitable World.” The theme recognizes that for us to create an accessible and inclusive world, there must be the development of transformative solutions. Implicit in this theme is the appreciation that modern technologies have a preeminent role to play in building an accessible and inclusive society. In my 2019 journal article entitled “An Inclusive, Equitable and Prosperous Caribbean: The Case of Persons with Disabilities” I delineated how we can make life better for persons with disabilities in the Caribbean. In this context, I advocated the need for greater use of modern technologies. Similarly, in another journal article published in 2020 and entitled “Accessible and Inclusive City: Can Kingston Jamaica Measure Up?’” I argue for cities in the Caribbean to become more accessible for persons with disabilities. Again, modern technologies have an indispensable role to play in creating this accessible and equitable environment.

But whilst there is this recognition that modern technologies must play a quintessential role in this transformative development trajectory of the region, there are some existential challenges. Persons with disabilities throughout the region are unemployed with data from the 2017 Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) suggesting that between 80 and 90 per cent of the population of persons with disabilities in the Caribbean are unemployed. This economic barrier has contributed to persons with disabilities in the region being among the poorest. Thus, most of these individuals cannot afford modern technologies to assist them in participating and being included in the mainstream of society.

The issue is further problematized when we look at the 2022 World Report on Assistive Technologies, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). Data from the report is showing that up to 85 per cent of persons with disabilities in developed countries have access to some form of assistive technology. Conversely, in the developing countries, only between 3 and 10 per cent have access to this innovation that seeks to bridge the interactions between persons with disabilities and those without. One can therefore understand the major challenges that persons with disabilities are having with access to education, access to employment, access to public facilities and access to information, as modern technologies are paramount to these development indicators.

Governments within the Caribbean and other stakeholders, must therefore establish progressive policies that will facilitate transformative solutions such as modern technologies that will include persons with disabilities in the mainstream of Caribbean Society. I wish for all my brothers and sisters with disabilities in the Caribbean, a happy International Day for Persons with Disabilities. And remember, disability does not equate to inability.





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DLP candidate Dr. Cassandra Williams sees ‘key role’ for south east in helping Dominica become the Caribbean’s breadbasket

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DLP candidate for La Plaine Constituency, Dr. Cassandra Williams

Dominica Labour Candidate for the La Plaine Constituency, Dr. Cassandra Williams has said that Dominica is well positioned to become the breadbasket of the Caribbean.

She made the statement while addressing supporters at her official launching ceremony held at Carib Junction in Delices on Thursday.

“I believe that Dominica is well positioned to become the breadbasket of the Caribbean and the communities of the south east have a key role to play in increasing production and strengthening our food systems,” Dr. Williams said.

According to her, the communities in that constituency are well-known for bay oil, toloma, farine and plantain production.

“We must open new avenues for La plaine, Delices and Boetica to develop these into world class products,” she indicated. “We will work vigorously to increase participation and production in profitable farm enterprises with the view to increase the capacity of farmers including our youth through improved technology, resilient infrastructure and best practices.”

Furthermore, Dr. Williams said the DLP will explore new markets for farmers and improve processing and production methods.

She also plans to encourage the decentralization of agricultural services to make greater use of the La Plaine Agricultural Training Centre and the La Plaine Cultural Station.

The 22-year old Dominica Labour Party  government recently announced that it had set the goal of increasing the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $700M by 2030.





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