The CELAC conference which took place at the end of January in Costa Rica yielded a few different cross country negotiations including one between Jamaica and Costa Rica.
CELAC, better known as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, saw many nations from Latin America and the Caribbean converge on Costa Rica to discuss many issues currently affecting countries in the region. The connections made by the various nations have yielded different results, but one between Costa Rica and Jamaica has been a focus on the organization of local governments.
Jamaica has a better and more sophisticated infrastructure at the local level according to President Guillermo Luis Solís. He met with the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica to discuss the methods Jamaica has used to improve its local governance. Prime Minister Simpson discussed the methods and history of the local government in Jamaica, and she also spoke of the local governance in Jamaica’s structure, supporting legislation, areas of responsibility, funding mechanisms and the compensation of local representatives.
All of this bilateral communication is geared towards improving Costa Rica’s understanding of what needs to be in place to provide a strong local government, and Prime Minister Simpson has a tremendous background in local politics in Jamaica. President Solís alluded to some of the issues that Costa Rica faces in regards to local government. Prime Minister Simpson also suggested that the reform of local government in Jamaica was an ongoing process as well.