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SG praises CARICOM-Chile co-operation

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque hailed CARICOM-Chile co-operation as a model for South-South co-operation.
At a meeting with Chilean Foreign Minister His Excellency Heraldo Muñoz in Santiago on the first day of an official visit to the country, Ambassador LaRocque said the co-operation was “strong and meaningful” and was making an impact in the Community.
Foreign Minister Muñoz said CARICOM was “very much on Chile’s radar” and assured the Secretary-General that the co-operation would continue.
The Secretary-General took the opportunity to express his and the Community’s sympathy to the Government and people of Chile and in particular the citizens of Valparaiso on the loss of life and destruction of property and infrastructure due to the fires raging in the city.
Ambassador LaRocque accompanied by Assistant Secretary-General Foreign and Community Relations, Ambassador Colin Granderson had a busy schedule on the first of a two-day visit on Monday. Apart from meeting with the Foreign Minister, he held discussions with the Vice Foreign Minister Edgardo Riveros and reviewed the Plan of Action 2012-2014 for CARICOM-Chile Co-operation with the Executive Director Jorge Daccarett and his team at the Chilean International Co-operation Agency (AGCI).
The Plan of Action is being implemented in the areas of Education, Agriculture, Disaster Management, Health and programmes for CARICOM diplomats. Both sides agreed that there were major successes in the programme dealing with methods of the teaching of Spanish language in the English-speaking Caribbean and in the area of capacity-building in agriculture, in particular with sanitary and phyto sanitary standards, and disaster management.
The Secretary-General also held discussions with the Director of the Chilean Diplomatic Academy, Ambassador Pablo Cabrera whose institution is currently hosting a group of CARICOM diplomats on a course with emphasis on Spanish language training and aspects of diplomacy in conjunction with Mexico. Ambassador La Rocque’s final engagement for the day was an interactive session with the Chilean Council for International Relations at which he made a presentation on CARICOM which led to a vibrant discussion with members of the Council.
The visit ends on Tuesday with discussions at the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) and the UN Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) as well as a session at the University of Chile’s Seismological Centre.

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