Monday, April 15, 2024

PM Stuart meets with senior diplomats


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BARBADOS’ DIASPORA ACROSS the world will be mobilised to participate in this country’s 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made the comments recently, during a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean; and several senior diplomats at Ilaro Court.

Those attending the discussions included Barbados’ Ambassador to China, Dr Chelston Brathwaite; Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Keith Marshall; High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Guy Hewitt; Consul General in New York, Donna Hunte-Cox; and High Commissioner to Ottawa, Yvonne Walkes.  Permanent Secretaries Sonja Welch and Cecile Humphrey were also present.

Stressing, however, that the celebration would not be unrestrained merriment, but rather a period for sober reflection on the way forward,  Stuart said Barbadians were trustees of this island.  “We have to look at how to manage Barbados today for future generations …. If we are to shape a Barbados that we can be proud of, there are certain things we have to do, certain attitudes to confront and certain ideals we have to embrace,” he stated.

He acknowledged that the foreign service was just an extension of the country’s domestic service, and noted that the diplomats must look at leveraging relations with other nations to realise the objectives set at home, and solidify the nation’s achievements.

The Prime Minister reminded them that Government had crafted a vision for Barbados which rests on four pillars – a country that is socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound and characterised by good and transparent governance.

Going into depth about the four pillars, he highlighted, for example the aspect of being economically viable, pointing out that the economy would not service the needs of citizens if, whenever the world sneezed, this part of the region caught a cold.

“With your assistance, we need to find markets for those things we produce, thus stimulating the economy, creating jobs, etcetera. We are marketing Barbados as a place which people can comfortably visit and with which they can also do business…,” he stated.

In reference to the country being environmentally sound, the Prime Minister reminded those present that climate change was not an academic issue, but a lived experience. He added that there was an emerging global consensus that environmental issues would affect all and reiterated that Barbados had committed itself to creating a most advanced green economy.

Stuart thanked those in attendance for their selfless and excellent service, and the highly commendable efforts they had been making in their assigned countries.

During the nearly three-hour talks, they discussed plans for Barbados’ 50th Anniversary of Independence in New York, Canada and the UK, as well as available opportunities and challenges in the locations where the diplomats are assigned. (BGIS)


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