Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday received Guyana’s new Ambassador to CARICOM H.E. George Talbot, in a ceremony which also highlighted the country’s lead role in the Caribbean Community’s food production and food security.
Guyana holds lead responsibility for Agriculture, Agricultural Diversification and Food Security in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet, and President H.E. Irfaan Ali earlier this year presented to his colleague Heads of Government, a Food Production and Food Security Agenda which outlines in detail the strategy and action plan for transforming the agriculture sector in CARICOM.
“The Secretariat looks forward to working closely with you and your colleagues on this most important initiative,” Secretary-General LaRocque told the new Ambassador in the virtual accreditation ceremony.
Ambassador Talbot welcomed the renewed focus on food and nutrition security as a regional priority, including the work being done by a Special CARICOM Task Force, recently established under the Chairmanship of Guyana’s Agriculture Minister Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha.
“The decision …to establish a Special Ministerial Task Force on Food Production and Food Security bodes well for our collective efforts to realise the economic potential of the Region’s agri-food sector and to reduce the food import bill,” he said.
The Secretary-General also praised Guyana’s provision of tangible support to sister CARICOM Member State St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the country faces the wrath of an explosive La Soufriere volcano.
Ambassador Talbot restated Guyana’s commitment for the ‘immediate, medium and long term’.
“I renew this commitment in unison with the entire Caribbean Community whose rallying in the face of this volcanic challenge in a prime example of integration in practice – a Community there for each other in times of challenge and need,” he said.
With his accreditation, Ambassador Talbot becomes a member of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors, as a Special Representative of his Head of Government. His responsibilities as a Member of the Committee will include assisting in advancing the implementation at the national level, decisions of the organs of the Caribbean Community.