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UK Affirms Longstanding Friendship with Caribbean and Financial Support for Infrastructural Development

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Authored by: Robyn Adderley

At the the opening ceremony for the 9th UK-Caribbean Forum, April 29 at the Grand Lucayan in Freeport, Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie (right) greets United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond.  Prime Minister Christie gave the opening session keynote address, under the theme “Building a Strong Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Development”. Also pictured (centre) is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell. (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, the Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond said on Friday, April 29, that he hoped the 9th UK-Caribbean Forum would “result in the kind of concrete outcomes that will strengthen our ties and help make both the UK and the Caribbean better places for all of our citizenry.”

The sessions were held in Freeport at the Grand Lucayan, under the theme, “Building a Stronger Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Development”.

The Forum was officially opened by Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie.  Bringing opening remarks was Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin  LaRocque, and the moderator for the evening was His Excellency Picewell Forbes, Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell, headed the Bahamian delegation and hosted the event which was attended by 150 delegates from 23 countries. The first session of the UK-Caribbean Forum, which is held every two years, was held in Nassau in 1998.

During his brief remarks, Mr. Hammond said the Forum was held at a significant time, as his Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron renewed his commitment to the region in 2015.

“We share a long history and a warm friendship that withstood the best of time. A deep friendship based on shared values, and mutual respect. A friendship that even a recent 20/20 cricket match cannot spoil. Of course it’s more than a friendship. It’s a modern partnership, and it’s a partnership that has flourished be it through business, tourism, through our political links or through millions of our people with Caribbean roots who call the United Kingdom home.

“A lot has happened since the 8th UK-Caribbean Forum in 2014, hosted in London by my predecessor, William Hague. Of recent, the Caribbean has found a welcomed, stronger voice in international affairs. You’ve played an important role collectively in climate change negotiations, making an explosive case on the special needs of small islands and developing states. We will continue to work with you as you build that case at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and in helping to secure that ambitious feel, in Paris, which is so important to the future of our climate.”

He continued, “Much of the ground work for that success in Paris was laid out the month before in Malta when the Commonwealth elected for the first time in 25 years a Secretary General from the Caribbean. Patricia Scotland, I know, will be a powerful and effective voice for the organization and for the region in the years ahead. Together, we’ve also made progress on improving prosperity, tackling security challenges and promoting education and enemy security, all areas we agreed to work on during the last forum, and I have every confidence that this forum again, will result in the kind of concrete outcomes that will strengthen our ties and help make both the UK and the Caribbean better places for all of our citizenry.

“As I’ve said, this is the first forum to take place since the Prime Minister’s visit to the Caribbean and his announcement  of the UK’s renewed commitment to the region. The Prime Minister made the strength of that commitment  clear during his speech however, it was worth saying again, that the British government wants to see the relationship continue to grow, working the Caribbean, all members of the Caribbean, to build a more prosperous and secure future.”

Mr. Hammond then referred to his Prime Minister’s, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron’s, statement last year as a demonstration of the United Kingdom’s commitment. “The Prime Minister announced a substantial package of financial support including 300 million pounds to be ground funded to support the development of infrastructure in the less developed countries in the region. This, along with other measures announced at the same time, has more than quadrupled the UK’s financial support to the Caribbean and makes the British Government the largest bi-lateral donor to the region.

“I am very pleased to say that we are delivering on that commitment. The UK-Caribbean infrastructure fund is now established in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank. Detailed discussions have already taken place in several countries and 13 priority projects have been identified with a value of 130 million pounds. Of these, six are planned for approval in this financial year. My ministerial colleague James Duddridge (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK) and I look forward to discussing further priorities for infrastructure investment during our meetings tomorrow in the session on prosperity and development.”

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Featured Story
Authored by: Robyn Adderley

At the the opening ceremony for the 9th UK-Caribbean Forum, April 29 at the Grand Lucayan in Freeport, Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie (right) greets United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond.  Prime Minister Christie gave the opening session keynote address, under the theme “Building a Strong Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Development”. Also pictured (centre) is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell. (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, the Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond said on Friday, April 29, that he hoped the 9th UK-Caribbean Forum would “result in the kind of concrete outcomes that will strengthen our ties and help make both the UK and the Caribbean better places for all of our citizenry.”

The sessions were held in Freeport at the Grand Lucayan, under the theme, “Building a Stronger Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Development”.

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The Forum was officially opened by Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie.  Bringing opening remarks was Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin  LaRocque, and the moderator for the evening was His Excellency Picewell Forbes, Bahamas High Commissioner to CARICOM.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell, headed the Bahamian delegation and hosted the event which was attended by 150 delegates from 23 countries. The first session of the UK-Caribbean Forum, which is held every two years, was held in Nassau in 1998.

During his brief remarks, Mr. Hammond said the Forum was held at a significant time, as his Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron renewed his commitment to the region in 2015.

“We share a long history and a warm friendship that withstood the best of time. A deep friendship based on shared values, and mutual respect. A friendship that even a recent 20/20 cricket match cannot spoil. Of course it’s more than a friendship. It’s a modern partnership, and it’s a partnership that has flourished be it through business, tourism, through our political links or through millions of our people with Caribbean roots who call the United Kingdom home.

“A lot has happened since the 8th UK-Caribbean Forum in 2014, hosted in London by my predecessor, William Hague. Of recent, the Caribbean has found a welcomed, stronger voice in international affairs. You’ve played an important role collectively in climate change negotiations, making an explosive case on the special needs of small islands and developing states. We will continue to work with you as you build that case at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and in helping to secure that ambitious feel, in Paris, which is so important to the future of our climate.”

He continued, “Much of the ground work for that success in Paris was laid out the month before in Malta when the Commonwealth elected for the first time in 25 years a Secretary General from the Caribbean. Patricia Scotland, I know, will be a powerful and effective voice for the organization and for the region in the years ahead. Together, we’ve also made progress on improving prosperity, tackling security challenges and promoting education and enemy security, all areas we agreed to work on during the last forum, and I have every confidence that this forum again, will result in the kind of concrete outcomes that will strengthen our ties and help make both the UK and the Caribbean better places for all of our citizenry.

“As I’ve said, this is the first forum to take place since the Prime Minister’s visit to the Caribbean and his announcement  of the UK’s renewed commitment to the region. The Prime Minister made the strength of that commitment  clear during his speech however, it was worth saying again, that the British government wants to see the relationship continue to grow, working the Caribbean, all members of the Caribbean, to build a more prosperous and secure future.”

Mr. Hammond then referred to his Prime Minister’s, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron’s, statement last year as a demonstration of the United Kingdom’s commitment. “The Prime Minister announced a substantial package of financial support including 300 million pounds to be ground funded to support the development of infrastructure in the less developed countries in the region. This, along with other measures announced at the same time, has more than quadrupled the UK’s financial support to the Caribbean and makes the British Government the largest bi-lateral donor to the region.

“I am very pleased to say that we are delivering on that commitment. The UK-Caribbean infrastructure fund is now established in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank. Detailed discussions have already taken place in several countries and 13 priority projects have been identified with a value of 130 million pounds. Of these, six are planned for approval in this financial year. My ministerial colleague James Duddridge (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK) and I look forward to discussing further priorities for infrastructure investment during our meetings tomorrow in the session on prosperity and development.”