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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) “The world’s pledged generosity to Haiti has little value until and unless it translates into improved conditions for the people of that country.”

This is the view of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Acting Secretary-General as she received, on Thursday, Letters of Credence from the Plenipotentiary Representative  of Italy to CARICOM, His Excellency Paolo Serpi, at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat.

The acting Secretary-General extended deep appreciation for Italy’s support to Haiti in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake of 12 January 2010, noting that recently they provided funding to fight the cholera epidemic which she stated had abated considerably.

Ambassador Applewhaite pointed to the impending 2011 hurricane season as a cause for grave concerns for the people in Haiti, and stressed that it was therefore imperative that the pledges made at the United Nations Conference on Haiti in March 2010 be fulfilled expeditiously.

In presenting his Letters of Credence, His Excellency Paolo Serpi, endorsed the existing cooperation between CARICOM and Italy, noting that it would be further solidified by the subsequent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would “strengthen political, scientific and technical relationships and promoting development co-operation partnership between the two parties.”

He expressed anticipation for CARICOM’s participation in the Latin American Conference in Rome in October this year and solicited the Community’s support for the Milan Expo in 2015.

The Accreditation ceremony was further enriched by the Signing of the MOU between CARICOM, as represented by its Secretary-General (Acting) and Italy, as represented by its newly accredited Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM.

The MOU aims to develop CARICOM’s human resources, scientific and technical capacities, especially in areas vital to the development of the economies of its Member States, notably in the fields of trade negotiation skills and trade promotion.

Other areas earmarked for development include Tourism, Agriculture (including livestock, forestry and agro-industry), Fisheries, Mining, Climate Change, Scientific and Technological Research, Information and Communication Technology for Development and Health.

A Management Committee comprising representatives from both CARICOM and Italy will oversee analysis, revision and follow-up of the MOU as well as of any specific Memorandum which may be concluded arising from the original document.

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