- Your Excellency Jennifer Marchand, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to CARICOM;
- Your Excellency Candice N. Shade, Acting High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to Guyana;
- Ambassador Donna Forde, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, and other Members of Staff of the CARICOM Secretariat.
Ambassador, it gives me great pleasure to accept your Letters of Credence, and to extend to you warm congratulations on your appointment as Trinidad and Tobago’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). I also wish to welcome you to the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in your new capacity, as you are no stranger to these surroundings given your frequent visits in your previous capacity as Head of the Department of CARICOM Affairs in your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the inaugural signatories of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and continues to play a meaningful role in the affairs of the Community. Your country holds responsibility for two of the most important portfolios in the Quasi-Cabinet of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government, Security and Energy. Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley is very active as he pursues the Community’s interest in both sectors in regional, hemispheric and international fora.
Today’s ceremony opens a new chapter in your diplomatic journey. As an Ambassador to the Community, you will play an essential role in the integration process, through your membership in the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors. This Committee, as you noted, provides strategic advice, recommendations, and support to the Community Council of Ministers, the second highest Organ of our Community.
You will, therefore, serve as an important nexus between the regional and the national interests. The Secretariat and your fellow CARICOM Ambassadors stand ready to work with you in that regard.
A significant part of your mandate is to engage and interact with your citizens to highlight and promote the objectives, work and benefits of the Community. This would help to strengthen the CARICOM identity and spirit of Community which we seek to build.
With these short remarks, I congratulate you, Ambassador Marchand, on your accreditation as Plenipotentiary Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the Caribbean Community, and I wish you every success in the execution of your new responsibilities. I can assure you of the full commitment of the Secretariat, and of myself, to assist you in the execution of your new duties.
I thank you.