CARICOM Secretary General outlines areas for partnership between Blegium and CARICOM
Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Wednesday outlined a number of areas through which Belgium and CARICOM could continue partnership.
He was speaking a ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat headquarters, Turkeyen, Guyana, where Ambassador to CARICOM from Belgium Her Excellency Godelieve van den Bergh presented her credentials. Ambassador van den Bergh is the first Beligian Ambassador to CARICOM.
Among the areas for partnership outlined by Ambassador LaRocque was Human Resource Development which he said was an area on which CARICOM placed great emphasis.
Another area of cooperation mentioned by the Secretary General was health. He outlined that CARICOM States have placed themselves at the forefront of the challenge to focus global attention on the negative impact of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
“We look forward to working with Belgium in advancing the plans outlined in the Declaration of the United Nations High Level Meeting in 2011 to reduce the impact of NCDs on the health of our citizens and on our economies” he said.
Turning to the issue of citizen security in Member States Ambassador LaRocque said stemming the flow of illegal arms was of great importance to CARICOM. He said CARICOM would welcome the opportunity for Belgium to join in maintaining the momentum created with the adoption of the United Nations Arms Treaty.
Another topic which the Secretary General said was pressing was climate change. He noted that strong global partnerships were needed to advance climate change negotiations. He said CARICOM looked forward to Belgium’s support in that regard.
Secretary General LaRocque also discussed the Post 2015 Development Agenda stating that it held much promise for addressing development challenges in a holistic way. He said it was “an opportunity to redefine development and move away from the narrow statistical application of per capita income as its basis”.
In her remarks Ambassador van den Bergh said Belgium was particularly aware of the numerous challenges of the Caribbean States such as regional integration as well as the advantages and disadvantages of an open economy. She said her country has always requested more attention for the Caribbean as well as a complete inclusion of the Region in dialogue between the EU and the countries of Latin America.
She also expressed a renewed interest on behalf of her country for “mutual support of the respective candidatures of the CARICOM Member States and of Belgium in the United Nations”.