Germany Reaffirms its Commitment to CARICOM

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At the credentials ceremony on 30 October 2007 are, from left, His Excellency Dr Ernst Martens, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM, Her Excellency Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, and Secretary-General of CARICOM His Excellency Edwin Carrington. 

Greater Georgetown, Guyana -Newly accredited German Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Dr. Ernst Martens has committed to doing his utmost to advance the level of cooperation between his country and CARICOM, particularly in the area of protection from the negative effects of climate change.

At the presentation of his letters of credence to CARICOM Secretary-General His Excellency Edwin Carrington on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters in Georgetown, Ambassador Martens noted CARICOM’s “proud past and promising future” and indicated “Germany will continue to contribute to this fine process.”

Secretary-General Carrington, in welcoming Ambassador Martens, noted that his accreditation had come at “an exciting time indeed for CARICOM”. The Secretary-General pointed to the maturing of CARICOM and its `Community for All’ approach to integration; the CARICOM Single Market that is virtually fully in place, and the efforts to establish the Single Economy. The framework for the Single Economy is expected to be in place by 2008.

The Secretary-General also highlighted areas of cooperation between Germany and CARICOM including the assistance to the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme; the CARICOM Technical Vocational and Educational Training Programme, and the co-financing of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Resources Project.

“Excellency, we look forward with great expectation to enlarging the areas of cooperation with Germany to include other critical issues such as Climate Change and, given Germany’s weighty role in the European Union (EU), the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) currently the subject of negotiations between the EU and CARIFORUM,” Secretary-General Carrington said.

Dr. Martens succeeds first German Ambassador accredited to CARICOM, Ambassador Helmut Olhraun who has retired.

Germany and CARICOM in tandem against HIV/AIDS

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Federal Republic of Germany will sign shortly, an Agreement under which Germany will provide up to eight million Euros to fight HIV and AIDS.

CARICOM will sign the agreement on behalf of the Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP), Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, His Excellency Edwin Carrington said on Tuesday, 30 October 2007.

Shortly before accepting the credentials of His Excellency Dr. Ernst Martens, new Ambassador of Germany to CARICOM, the Secretary-General expressed appreciation to Germany for its contribution to the efforts in the region to slow the spread of HIV and AIDS.

“The funds provided by your government in the sum of up to eight Million Euros are most welcome at this time, for we are at a delicate stage in the fight against this scourge. It is a time when mortality from AIDS is declining, but at the same time, the prevalence rates of HIV and AIDS are increasing,” the Secretary-General said.

At its recent Annual General Meeting in Antigua, PANCAP agreed that universal access to prevention, care and treatment must be the flagship to guide its Plan of Action for the next five years.

“Within this framework and given the current trends in the profile of the disease, it is essential that emphasis be placed on prevention. Your country’s contribution to the prevention of that scourge is deeply appreciated,” Secretary-General Carrington noted.