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PREPARATIONS BY THE HOST GOVERNMENT:

The Honorable Harcourt Lewis, Minister of the Environment, Housing and Lands of Barbados, informed the delegates of the status of the preparations for the Conference. A national Conference Secretariat has been set up and arrangements have already been made for accommodations, ground transportation, Conference facilities, entertainment and hospitality. Several events are planned including a National Welcoming Ceremony, receptions, cultural events and special tours. A Group of Eminent Persons has been invited to meet in Barbados from 21-22 April 1994, to examine the concept of sustainable development with special reference to SIDS and to make recommendations to the Conference. The Governor-General of Barbados, Her Excellency Dame Nita Barrow, has agreed to be Patron and Convener of the Group. The names of the persons invited to be members will be announced when the arrangements have been finalized. The Minister also highlighted the importance of the High-Level Segment, scheduled to take place on 5-6 May. He said that this segment should be viewed as critical to the overall success of the Conference. NGOs are also expected to play a major role in the Conference.

Next, Dr. E.A. Moore, a representative of the NGO Secretariat in Barbados, updated delegates on NGO preparations. The NGO Islands Forum '94 will begin its activities on 20 April and thereafter will run concurrently with the Conference. There will be three main elements: a series of workshops that will address the main issues of the Conference and serve as a conduit to feed NGO ideas into the Conference; the Village of Hope, which includes a theme park with 28 ideas on sustainable development in SIDS; and SUSTECH '94, a showplace and marketplace for sustainable development technologies.