Ambassador of Guyana presents credentials to CARICOM secretary-general
Georgetown, Guyana – H.E. Charlene Phoenix, ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the Caribbean Community, presented her credentials to H.E. Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, secretary-general and chief executive officer of the Caribbean Community Nov. 8. The following is the content of her remarks:
Today, as I present my credentials as plenipotentiary representative of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the
Caribbean Community (CARICOM), I am honoured, yet extremely humbled, by the confidence reposed in me by the government of Guyana. It is my fervent hope, therefore, that my years of work on CARICOM issues would have equipped me with a measure of the skills and knowledge necessary to make a worthwhile contribution to the continued growth and development of the region.
Allow me, from the outset, to express my personal congratulations to you, secretary-general, on receiving Guyana’s third-highest national award, the Cacique Crown of Honour. Undeniably, it is a tangible recognition of your valued service to the Caribbean.
Guyana, as a founding member of the Caribbean Community and host of the Secretariat, has always championed unequivocally the merits of regional integration. The need for a strong and efficient integration movement is as urgent now as at its initial formation. We see CARICOM as a vehicle which gives voice to member states and has thus placed its imprint on matters of tremendous importance whether regionally or on the international stage, like climate change, the SIDS Agenda and the sustainable development goals, amongst others. These issues have direct impact on the livelihoods, economic advancement and empowerment of the Caribbean people.
Undoubtedly, CARICOM remains a critical mechanism for articulating our common interests, shared principles and values. As a region we face many compelling challenges i.e economic and trade, security, climate, the withdrawal of correspondent bank services, etc. Every challenge however provides us with an opportunity to project a common unity of purpose. I hold the view that our approach, always, should be guided by the need to preserve the gains made over the years by our regional integration movement.
At the forefront of the region’s integration effort stands the CARICOM single market and economy. I wish to reiterate the commitment of Guyana to the full implementation of the various components of the CSME. Further, I have come to share the vision of what a region united can mean for its people. A community of citizens once allowed unrestricted movement will undoubtedly assume this unified Caribbean identity that we seek to foster across the region.
Notably, this unity and cohesion was clearly demonstrated as the region galvanized collectively in an effort to bring relief to our brothers and sisters in those CARICOM territories devastated by the recent passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria. I must point out that His Excellency President David Granger, the government and people of Guyana are extremely saddened by the deaths, damage and destruction caused to our CARICOM sister states and other states and territories by the Hurricanes.
With this in mind, I commend the CARICOM Secretariat and the United Nations (UNDP) for the valiant efforts being made to convene later this month a High-Level Donor Conference to Support the Reconstruction of the Countries affected by the Hurricanes in Becoming the First Climate Resilient Countries in the World. Guyana stands firm in its commitment to doing all that it can to support the recovery of the affected states.
While there is much work to be done by the region, I am confident that under your leadership, secretary-general, while aptly supported by a secretariat manned by committed and truly dedicated professionals, that together we can continue to advance the regional agenda inclusive of efforts to effectively implement the CARICOM Strategic Plan for 2015-2019 .
In closing, I wish to reiterate that my accreditation today is symbolic of the strong dedication of Guyana to this regional project. I therefore look forward to continuing to engage with you and the Secretariat team as we seek not only to advance the region’s agenda but to enhance even further Guyana’s participation in the work of the community.