CARICOM Secretariat building on course for full solar power generation

CARICOM Secretary-General Amb. Irwin LaRocque (r) and His Excellency Tatsuo Hirayama
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Plans are advancing for the Headquarters of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat to be fully powered by solar energy by the end of 2020.

Commencing next February, installation of a photo voltaic system as well as an energy management mechanism will begin at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana. It is part of a wider programme that is supported by the Government of Japan to improve renewable energy and power supply systems in Guyana.

It is anticipated that the Secretariat’s Headquarters will be powered by 100 percent green power, when the project is completed.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque acknowledged Japan’s important role in facilitating development in the Region, as he accredited the country’s new envoy His Excellency Tatsuo Hirayama on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, at the CARICOM Secretariat.

A Family Photo after the accreditation of the new Japanese envoy to CARICOM. From left: Amb. Colin Granderson, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations; Mrs Sachiko Hirayama; His Excellency Tatsuo Hirayama, CARICOM Secretary-General Amb. Irwin LaRocque; and Mr Yamato Kobayashi, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan. See more photos here

The Secretary-General indicated that the depth of Japan’s cooperation had impacted areas such as the environment, climate change, disaster risk management, non-communicable diseases and fisheries. He extended the Community’s gratitude for Japan’s assistance in the aftermath of the passage of Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017.

Amb. LaRocque told the new Japanese envoy that CARICOM was appreciative that climate change, an issue of existential important to the Region, was included in the agenda of the recently-concluded G20 Summit in Osaka, under Japan’s first presidency.

Noting that the grave phenomenon of climate change “requires more ambitious global action,” Secretary-General LaRocque also thanked Japan for “its steadfast support over the years on matters pertaining to the vulnerability of Small Island and low-lying coastal Developing States (SIDS).”

“Your leadership in recognising vulnerability as one of the criteria for concessional development financing, and moving away from the use of GDP per capita as the main criterion, has been much welcomed,” Secretary-General LaRocque added.

Ambassador Hirayama expressed his appreciation for CARICOM’s support in strengthening relations with his country.

He said that CARICOM-Japan cooperation had matured through: a Summit in 2014; several visits to the Caribbean by State Ministers and Parliamentary Vice-Ministers from Japan; meetings of Foreign Ministers of CARICOM and Japan; as well as high-level visits to Japan by dignitaries from CARICOM. He also highlighted Japan’s annual training programme for young CARICOM diplomats, which facilitates the deepening of ties and mutual understanding between Japan and CARICOM Member States.

Signalling his intention to deepen the bonds of friendship between the two parties, Mr. Hirayama said he would “vigorously build” upon the strong foundation.

“Japan and CARICOM share a number of essential fundamental values that include democracy, the rule of law, and market economy. Based on these shared values, Japan has enjoyed a very strong history of cooperation and mutual support with the CARICOM Secretariat. I am therefore firmly committed to fulfilling my important mission and providing all possible means for the development of CARICOM member states,” Japan’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Caribbean Community stated.

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