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Secretary-General’s Remarks at Accreditation Ceremony for new Ambassador of Costa Rica to CARICOM, 18 November

  • Your Excellency Georgina María Guillén Grillo, Plenipotentiary Representative (Designate) of Costa Rica to CARICOM;

Excellency, it is my pleasure to receive today, your letter accrediting you as Costa Rica’s second Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). 

Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett presenting her remarks

The links between the Member States of the Community and Costa Rica go deep, as is evidenced by the fact that descendants of the early Caribbean migrants, who in the late 19th century helped to build a major railroad linking two major cities in Costa Rica, still form a large segment of the population of your second city, Limon.

There is, however, much more recent activity between us that emphasises the close ties between our Region and Costa Rica. We have common positions on climate change, the preservation of the Caribbean Sea and the obstacles to development that stem from our classification as middle-income countries. These should form the basis of deepening our political dialogue and strengthening cooperation in international fora. We look forward very much to these aspects of our relations.

Bilaterally, we have to take greater advantage of the CARICOM-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement which we signed in 2004. The fact that a Central American country, Belize, is a member of both CARICOM and the Central American Integration System (SICA), of which Costa Rica is a Member, presents a major opportunity to enhance our trading and investment relations. Our countries are also founder members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), whose principal functions include, enhancing tourism and transportation links among the Membership.

CARICOM and Costa Rica face similar development challenges. Your country’s recent entry into the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an encouraging circumstance at this time. Costa Rica is, therefore, well-placed to advocate in that forum on the issues of concern to small states like ours. These include post COVID-19 economic recovery, graduation and lack of access to concessional financing, the development of a Universal Vulnerability Index and financing to build resilience.

Ambassador Georgina María Guillén Grillo

Excellency, my staff and I look forward to working with you, as we seek to fulfil the promise that is so evident in strengthening relations between CARICOM and Costa Rica.

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