(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The accreditation of the first Ambassador of Georgia to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Otar Berdzenishvili, represents a deliberate and key element of CARICOM’s coordinated foreign policy to expand diplomatic, development, trade and economic relations.
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of CARICOM expressed those sentiments, Monday 24 November 2014, as he welcomed the Republic of Georgia to the family of nations which enjoy formal diplomatic relations with CARICOM.
Describing the occasion as “historic,” Secretary-General LaRocque told the newly accredited envoy he was certain Georgia understood the strategic importance of that approach to foreign relations. He added that the Community welcomed those opportunities to exchange experiences with countries at a similar stage of development with CARICOM Member States.
Noting that the areas of cooperation that Georgia’s Foreign Minister proposed were security, culture, education, the environment, sport, trade relations and tourism, Ambassador LaRocque said that some of them coincided with priorities identified in CARICOM’s recently adopted Five-Year Strategic Plan. The Plan seeks to reposition the Community to ensure its economic, social, technological and environmental resilience.
“I have no doubt that these will form the basis of greater discussion and action during the course of your tenure… These are of strategic importance, not only to CARICOM but to all countries which seek a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world. A Post-2015 Development Agenda that responds to the needs and expectations of the most and least powerful of the global family is of major concern for us. Similarly, a results-oriented cooperation on the fight against public health threats, such as NCDs and HIV/AIDS, is of significant value,” Secretary-General LaRocque told the Ambassador.
The Ambassador who is resident in Brazil, said it was a “great moment” for his country to be formally linked to “such an important” group of nations. He said it was part of his country’s outreach and he was eager to strengthen people to people contacts. This is already underway with students from the Caribbean attending Georgian universities.