The Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) advocacy for resilient reconstruction within its Member States that were affected by the recent hurricanes, was positively acknowledged by the Government of Spain on Tuesday, 17 October, 2017.
A newly accredited Plenipotentiary Representative of the Spain to CARICOM, His Excellency Javier Carbajosa Sanchez, said his country “will certainly contribute through the institutional channels already established, to promote economic recovery.” This is in light of the loss of live and material damage cause by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
He was at the time presenting his letter of credence to the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat headquarters in Georgetown Guyana.
The Spanish Government closely followed the disasters and their impact, and they had stirred its most sincere solidarity, Mr. Carbajosa said, as he conveyed his government’s condolences.
“These are difficult times for all of us,” he told the Secretary-General.
“The world is facing a huge amount of simultaneous challenges which compel us to do our best and to strengthen our ability to work together in order to provide a reasonable response to global challenges. Transnational crimes, climate change, economic inequalities, political instability, etcetera, require our unwavering political will and determination,” he added.
Signalling Spain’s keen interest in strengthening the political and financial instruments which allowed it to work with CARICOM, he underscored his willingness to begin preparations for a 2018 CARICOM-Spain Summit. The last summit was held in Antigua and Barbuda in 2014.
In addition, he said the convening of a Joint Technical Committee before the end of the year will allow the pursuit of projects of interest to the Region in the areas of security, as well as energy and energy efficiency.
With regard to security, he said Spain had taken note of the emphasis CARICOM Heads of Government had placed on transnational crime at their 2017 Summit in Grenada. Spain was therefore following developments concerning the CARICOM Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which is being finalised for adoption by the Heads of Government.
Within that context, he noted Spain’s gratitude for CARICOM’s support of his country when it experienced terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on 18 August, 2017.
In the area of energy and energy efficiency, he said Spain’s financial support the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) is consistent with his government’s commitment to the goals of Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and to United Nations sustainable development goals.
Referencing Heads of Governments’ commitment regarding the Common Single Market and Economy (CSME), and providing appropriate mediation efforts aimed at solving territorial disputes among its member states, the Spanish Ambassador said the Community can be assured of his country’s understanding and support in those endeavours.
CARICOM-Spain diplomatic ties spawn 18 years of cooperation. Spain has resident embassies in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Haiti. It is a Permanent Observer to CARICOM, the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The new envoy said Spain’s broadening interest in the Caribbean region is reflected in the recent change in denomination of the Secretary of State within the Spanish Government dealing with this part of the world, from Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Latin America, to the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Latin America and the Caribbean Region.