Diplomatic relations between CARICOM and a member state, as well as two third states, were strengthened on Tuesday (March 14) when secretary-general Dr Carla Barnett accredited three new ambassadors.
The secretary-general accepted the letters of credence of Larry Vaughan, Ambassador of St Kitts and Nevis to CARICOM; Itai Bardov, Ambassador of Israel to CARICOM; and Rytis Paulauskas, Ambassador of Lithuania to CARICOM.
Secretary-general Barnett said the accreditation of Ambassador Vaughan presented an opportunity for a fresh perspective on various issues confronting the community.
She explained that CARICOM has benefitted from St Kitt and Nevis’ commitment to regional integration, particularly in human resource development, and health and wellness, as lead Head of Government in the CARICOM Quasi cabinet for those areas.
“Given the multifaceted challenges presented by the protracted COVID-19 pandemic and its severe impact on lives and livelihoods in the region, this Quasi-Cabinet portfolio is essential to the Region’s post-pandemic recovery,” she stated.
In his remarks, Ambassador Vaughan reflected on the tasks ahead to improve competitiveness in all sectors across the member dtates, achieve more coordinated trade negotiation outcomes, and advocate for global appreciation for the multifaceted nature of our vulnerabilities.
He committed to actively working with his colleagues in the committee of ambassadors for the shared benefit of the people of the community.
The Israeli ambassador told the secretary-general that his country was keen to enhance its relations with CARICOM on climate change, agriculture, irrigation technology, and training.
He signalled Israel’s willingness to provide humanitarian support in areas in which the country has developed expertise, including pediatric heart surgeries and optical treatments.
Barnett noted the timeliness of Israel’s offer to support agriculture in the region where efforts have been targeted at reducing the importation of food by 25 per cent by 2025.
Ambassador Paulauskas and the secretary-general highlighted climate change as a key area for cooperation between CARICOM and Lithuania.
“As we prepare for COP28, it is important that focus is placed on the significant loss that countries of our Region, which are comparatively low emitters, face,” she said.
She also underscored the need for equitable standards across international financial systems. “We want the international community to agree on a single set of regulations so that what is agreed in one jurisdiction is agreed everywhere, as otherwise, there is great dysfunction within our financial systems,” Barnett emphasized.