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Remarks by Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett at the Accreditation of Slovenia’s new Ambassador to CARICOM, 18 November

  • Your Excellency Tone Kajzer, Plenipotentiary Representative (Designate) of the Republic of Slovenia to CARICOM

Your Excellency, as I accept your Letter of Credence, I extend congratulations to you on your appointment as the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett accepts Letter of Credence

Certain common interests between our Member States and Slovenia, make working together most practical.

We are both small states who are disaster prone and who have a keen interest in combatting the effects of climate change. As the current President of the European Union Council, your voice was an important one at the recent COP26 in Glasgow, and CARICOM appreciates the support rendered by Slovenia for Small Island and Low-lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS) at the Conference.

The advocacy of Slovenia in various global fora for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy is most welcome.

Your country is a proven leader in renewable energy with hydro-thermal and wind power providing a significant amount of your energy needs. It is an area in which Slovenia could collaborate with CARICOM as our Member States seek to increase their supply of renewable energy.

Renewable energy is an important element as we seek to build our resilience, given our vulnerability to natural disasters and external economic shocks in particular.  A key source of the assistance that is needed to build that resilience is denied to most of our Member States who are graduated out of access to concessional development financing due to the use of GDP per capita as the main criterion.

That is why we need the voice of countries like Slovenia, whose membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gives it a platform to advocate on our behalf for a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to replace GDP per capita as the main criterion for access to concessional development financing.

Excellency, these are issues on which we can advance discussions on possible areas for greater cooperation and exchanges during your tenure. Your statement this morning indicated other areas such as Artificial Intelligence and digital technology which could be added.

I assure you of my full support and that of the staff of the Secretariat, as we work together to strengthen the bonds between the Caribbean Community and Slovenia.

Ambassador Tone Kajzer

Welcome to the group of Plenipotentiary Representatives to the Community.

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