GUYANA – Spain signals commitment to post-hurricane economic recovery in CARICOM

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Javier Maria Carbajosa, Ambassador of Spain to CARICOM, presents his Letter of Credence to Amb. Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General

Spain has responded positively to the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) advocacy for resilient reconstruction of its Member States devastated by recent hurricanes.

Newly accredited Ambassador of Spain to CARICOM, His Excellency Javier Carbajosa Sanchez, said his country “will certainly contribute through the institutional channels already established, to promote economic recovery.”

The Ambassador was at the time presenting his letter of credence to CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat headquarters in Georgetown Guyana, on Tuesday.

He conveyed his Government’s sympathy for the loss of lives and widespread damage and destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.

“These are difficult times for all of us,” he told the Secretary-General, adding: “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.”

Signaling Spain’s keen interest in strengthening the political and financial instruments through which it works 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 by CARICOM Heads of Government on transnational crime during their 2017 Summit in Grenada. Spain was therefore following developments concerning the CARICOM Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was 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 to the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CREEE) is consistent with his government’s commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and to the United Nations sustainable development goals.

CARICOM-Spain diplomatic ties cover the past 18 years. 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 Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The new envoy said Spain’s broadening interest in the Caribbean region is reflected in the recent change in designation 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.

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