Former Prime Minister of Barbados joins OSI Policy Advisory Board

on Thursday, 22 January 2015. Posted in In the News

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OSI is proud and honoured to announce that Mr. Owen Arthur, the Former Prime Minister of Barbados has joined OSI´s Policy Advisory Board thus allowing OSI to further strengthen its relations with and activities in the Caribbean States. This follows membership of Scientific and Academic Committee of Professor Andy Knight, the anticipated Memorandum of Understanding with the University of West Indies and a curriculum on ocean security at the Caribbean Diplomatic Academy in Trinidad and Tobago. OSI looks forward to working closely with Mr. Arthur in the interest of environmental protection of the Caribeban region and efficient implementation of the Cartagena Convention and its protocols.

Renowned as an economist, pragmatist and a Caribbean statesman with a strong leaning towards the integration of the small island economies of our region, Mr. Owen Arthur’s tenure as Barbados’ Prime Minister proved his commitment as a regional integrationist. Much of his term in office was devoted to trying to implement CARICOM’s Single Market Economy (CSME) – a by-product of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

This is no surprise as a life dedicated to public service would be a most appropriate way to describe Owen Seymour Arthur, Barbados' fifth Prime Minister from September 1994 to January 2008. He was educated in Barbados at All Saints Boys' School, Coleridge and Parry, Harrison College and the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), after which he studied at UWI's Mona Campus for his Master's degree in economics, the field in which he has gained national, regional and international renown and respect.

Mr. Arthur’s illustrious career began as a professional economist in Jamaica in 1973 where he served in the Department of Management of UWI as a Research Assistant thereafter he joined the National Planning Agency of Jamaica as an Assistant Planner in 1974 and reached the level of Chief Planner by 1979. He also served as Director of Economics at the Jamaica Bauxite Institute between 1979 and 1981. From there Mr. Arthur became a member of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Scientific Council and the Jamaica Industrial Development Corporation.

He then returned to Barbados in 1981, where he held the post of Chief Project Analyst in the Ministry of Finance and Planning. In 1982 he became a Research Fellow at UWI's Institute of Social and Economics Research. He was then appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the Barbados Central Bank, the Barbados Industrial Development Corporation, and Chairman of the Barbados Agricultural Development Corporation.

Famously described by the late Prime Minister Tom Adams as "one of finest brains of the 20th. Century", his contribution to public life through politics started with being a Senator in 1983 and in his 1984 election to the House of Assembly where he is its longest serving member. He became Leader of the Opposition in 1993, thereafter leading the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a record three straight election victories in 1994, 1999 and 2003. While in Government he was Barbados’ Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs for fourteen years.

At the regional level, as the Prime Minister of Barbados, he assumed lead responsibility for the CSME.

At the international level, he was chairman of the Commonwealth/World Bank Taskforce that was constituted to formulate a global development agenda for Small States. He is the holder of the Order of Jose Marti awarded by the Government of Cuba.

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