Published On: Wed, Mar 19th, 2014

New British envoy pledges support to CARICOM

Vikki_DeanCARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana - Newly accredited Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Her Excellency Victoria Dean, on Wednesday pledged to play the role of advocate for the Region in the pursuit of its objectives.

Delivering remarks after presenting her credentials to Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, at the Georgetown, Guyana Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat, Ambassador Dean said the United Kingdom will play the role of conduit for CARICOM’s views on the global stage and support Member States in their relations with third states in respect of trade.

She recognised that despite being vulnerable to external shocks and climate change, countries of the Community were resilient, adaptable and creative.

“The current economic situation in some CARICOM members highlights that challenging environment we all find ourselves in. And it also highlights the vulnerability. Exogenous shocks come hard and fast in this Region.”

“The peoples of the Caribbean are resilient and adaptable, and have to be. Climate change is perhaps the most serious and alarming of these challenges, and will require that resilience and adaptability to come to the fore, along with creativity, investment and forward planning.”

In light of the priority CARICOM Heads of Governments have placed on climate change, the British High Commissioner said she would use her time to work with the CARICOM Secretary General in ensuring that climate change is kept at the top of the agenda, and to ensure that support from the UK was delivered.

High Commissioner Dean said the United Kingdom was also interest in continuing to support the reform process in the Community in “practical and very tangible” ways.

“I am an avid believer in the importance of regional cooperation and integration, and the many often unseen and unexplained benefits it can bring to countries and citizens. That said, it means I also know how complex and tricky the development and integration experience can be; these bodies take time and care to build; and the UK firmly believes there is a growing role for CARICOM to play and wants to work with you to help foster that,” she stated.

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