COP 21 critically important to CARICOM

His Excellency Lionel Sydney Osborne St. Kitts and Nevis to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Lionel Sydney Osborne with CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque after he presented his Credentials on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana.
St. Kitts and Nevis Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Lionel Sydney Osborne, (left) and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque after the Credentials ceremony on Tuesday, 22 September 2015, at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana.

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     Climate Change and its effects engaged the attention of the new Kittitian Ambassador to CARICOM and the Secretary-General during an accreditation ceremony on Tuesday at the headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Guyana.

In presenting his credentials to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Ambassador Lionel Sydney Osborne of St. Kitts and Nevis noted that “as a Region prone to natural disasters, we have a sacred contract with our citizens to bombard the international community, in appreciating the debilitating effects” that natural disasters have caused on many occasions as well as the effects climate change has on small vulnerable island states, such as ours.” He added that we must continue to insist on a “coordinated and meaningful response” from the global community.

Secretary-General LaRocque, in agreeing with the sentiments, referred to the recent devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica and the Christmas 2013 floods in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He added that the outcome of the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) (COP21) in Paris, France later this year was of critical importance to the Community. (more…)

CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors to connect national, Regional agendas

The CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors at its inaugural meeting on Saturday 30 May, at the CARICOM Secretariat, placed emphasis on the strategic guidance it will provide to connect national and Regional agendas in the integration architecture.

“As the link between the national and the Regional, you are in a position to fit two pieces together and see the big picture.” – CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Established in March 2015 through an agreement by CARICOM Heads of Government of CARICOM at their 26th Intercessional Meeting in The Bahamas, the Committee comprising Ambassadors accredited to CARICOM will support the Community Council of Ministers. Community Council is currently meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, at the CARICOM Secretariat.

The Committee of Ambassadors was established to work closely with the Organs and Bodies of the Community, the CARICOM Secretariat, and Community and Associate Institutions to sustain an efficient system of consultations at the national and Regional levels to advance the implementation of decisions.

Delegates at the Community Council Meeting on Monday 1 June, 2015 at the CARICOM Secretariat
Delegates at the Community Council Meeting on Monday 1 June, 2015 at the CARICOM Secretariat

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CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors an opportunity to impact efficiency and effectiveness – Chair

Community Council - Chair - Bahamas
Chair of the Inaugural Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, and Ambassador of The Bahamas to CARICOM, H.E. Picewell Forbes addresses the Meeting while Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque listens attentively.

Excellencies, the formation of this Committee provides an opportunity for us to greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the CARICOM Secretariat and its related agencies.  As Ambassadors, we have a unique position in having direct contact with our Heads of Government and Cabinets, as well as with the technical advisors and shareholders.  We must therefore maximize  these unique positions in auctioning our responsibilities to provide strategic advice and support to the Community Council of Ministers and support for the reform of the Community.

This Committee can truly serve as a Rapid Response Mechanism to get early feedback from Member States on matters of import. Members of the Committee of Ambassadors must remain aware of the issues discussed in the various Councils.  The Committee of Ambassadors should also strengthen relations with their country Ambassadors attached to Overseas Missions in order to ensure that there is adequate information sharing.

Welcome remarks by Chair of the Inaugural Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, and Ambassador of The Bahamas to CARICOM, H.E. Picewell Forbes, to the Meeting on Saturday 30 May, 2015, Georgetown, Guyana.

CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors hold inaugural meeting

CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors Meeting
Member States’ Ambassadors to CARICOM gathered in Georgetown on Saturday 30 May 2015, for the Inaugural Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors
SG - Committee of Ambassadors
Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressing the Inaugural Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors

When our Heads first considered the proposal for a Committee of Ambassadors, they agreed at that time that the principal focus would be the advancement of the integration process.

From where I sit, given what has transpired since, I see the Committee of Ambassadors as having two broad overarching roles, almost a dual personality. On the one hand, as Ambassadors, you represent the interests of your countries, and the Terms of Reference of the Committee point to specific functions you will undertake. But of equal importance, or probably of even greater importance, I also see this body as a cohesive whole acting, as it were, as a think tank as we shape the future course of Caribbean integration. I see this body operating almost like a board of directors, so to speak, of Caribbean integration, providing strategic guidance.

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque delivering welcome remarks at the Inaugural Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Saturday 30 May 2015.

See full Statement:   Secretary-General_Remarks_Inaugural Meeting_CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors