Visit of the representatives of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Southern Caribbean, in the course of which Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada were visited, finished yesterday in Bridgetown, Barbados.
During the meeting, the last of the visit, with Foreign Minister of Barbados Maxine McClean, the necessity of solidarity in the UN between small countries was discussed, and also conflict prevention, on which the UN, and more specifically the Security Council, should pay more attention to. Conflicts are easier to prevent when the root causes of conflicts are addressed and when there is greater focus on people’s safety, and not only on state level but also on regional and global level.
The Caribbean States are most concerned about climate change and its impact on security and safety. The two hurricanes of last year caused severe destruction and the recovery will take years. Barbados is interested in increasing its resilience and many e-state and e-governance applications can be used to do that. In this regard, Barbados is interested in deepening contacts with Estonia.
Before meeting the minister, the Estonian delegation visited the Data Processing Department of Barbados to meet its director Rodney Taylor and his team. Barbados is preparing its e-state concept. So far, the authorities have developed ICT separately and it has led to a situation where different authorities use different technological solutions that are not compatible. The new concept wants to solve this problem and Estonian specialists are asked to consult on the matter. Opportunities offered by the X-Road platform were discussed.
A delegation of the Estonian e-State Academy visited a conference, organised in Antigua and Barbuda by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, where challenges of Caribbean e-governance were discussed. A decision to develop regional e-governance agenda was made and Estonian specialist will participate in the process as advisers. If interested, Barbados has the opportunity to join this initiative and improve its e-state.
“E-services working on a same platform help make governance more efficient and make services easier, faster and more reliable. Estonia has benefited enormously from e-services, so why shouldn’t Barbados benefit from them,” the Head of the Task Force, Kolga, said.
That was the end of a two-week visit. The Estonian delegation arrived home on Sunday.