No Plan B for Climate Change

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New Belgian Ambassador to CARICOM Guy Sevrin.(left) and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the CARICOM Secretariat, Wednesday

Climate Change and sustainable development “are vital issues for the planet” according to Belgian Ambassador Guy Sevrin.

“There is no plan B for Climate Change,” the Ambassador said in his remarks as he presented his credentials as his country’s Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday to Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. Speaking at the Secretariat’s Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters, he said that all countries must work together to save the planet from disaster.

Secretary-General LaRocque said the time had come for a binding Agreement on Climate Change and looked forward to such an agreement being forged in Paris this December at the 21st Conference of the Parties on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) known as COP 21. He cited the unusual climatic events in the Region in recent times which had devastated Dominica last August and wreaked havoc in Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines in December 2013 as vivid demonstrations of the effects of the phenomenon.

New Belgian Ambassador to CARICOM Guy Sevrin signs Guest Book at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday, as CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Chef de Cabinet, CARICOM Secretariat Ms. Glenda Itiaba look on

Against the backdrop of the effects of Hurricane Joaquin last weekend in The Bahamas, the Secretary-General said the Community needed strong voices of support in Paris. “For us it is a matter of survival,” he added.

Ambassador LaRocque reminded the Belgian representative of his country’s blacklisting of some CARICOM Member States and Associate Members as non-co-operative tax jurisdictions. The Secretary-General noted that the global authority on the issue, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), had stated that all our countries were fully compliant.

“I therefore, request Belgium to reconsider urgently its position with respect to the Member State and Associate Members that your country has blacklisted,” he stated. Such an action Ambassador LaRocque stated would be a most positive signal as “we move to strengthen our relations.”

Ambassador Sevrin is Belgium’s second Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM and is based in Jamaica.

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