The appointment of Dr. Hyginus “Gene” Leon to the presidency of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is an especially proud moment for Saint Lucia, as Dr. Leon follows in the footsteps of one illustrious son of Saint Lucian soil – our Nobel Laureate Sir William Arthur Lewis.
In fact, this is truly a proud moment for all OECS Member States as we believe that we need strong representation for our region. As an OECS citizen, we know that Dr. Leon will bring his qualifications, vast experience and keen intellect to the Bank as well as strategic and transformational perspectives, coupled with action-oriented leadership so critical for attainment of the Region’s developmental outcomes.
Dr. Leon has attained this presidency at a time when Members, particularly the smallest and most vulnerable, are in dire need of a new and more constructive relationship with financial institutions. This relationship must take cognizance of their peculiar position as small States, and must demonstrate keen sensitivity to their concerns. Moreover, borrowing and non-borrowing Members alike are currently confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ongoing threat posed by climate change. These challenges demand the most creative, most effective, real time responses, developed in an atmosphere of cooperation, consultation and concerted action.
We very much look forward to working with him on the development agenda for the region.
I invite all Saint Lucians and OECS citizens to join me in extending congratulations to Dr. Leon.