Spain pledges to support hurricane-battered C'bean countries

Friday, October 20, 2017

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Spain has promised to assist Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries battered by recent hurricanes, said the newly appointed Spanish ambassador to the 15-member regional grouping.

Javier Carbajosa Sanchez, who presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque yesterday, said the European country “will certainly contribute through the institutional channels already established, to promote economic recovery”.

Sanchez expressed his government's sympathy for the loss of lives and widespread damage and destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria that tore through the Lesser Antilles in September.

“These are difficult times for all of us .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,” the diplomat said, signalling his country's interest in strengthening the political and financial instruments through which it works with CARICOM.

He said Spain was also looking forward to the 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.

The diplomat said that Spain had note of the emphasis by CARICOM leaders on transnational crime during their 2017 Summit in Grenada and was therefore following developments concerning the CARICOM Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was being finalised for adoption by the leaders.

He said it is within that context that Spain welcomed CARICOM's support when the European country experienced terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August.

He said in the area of energy and energy efficiency, 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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