BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 2, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, returned to the Federation on Thursday, January 31, 2019, after leading a high-level CARICOM delegation on a shuttle diplomatic mission to the United Nations (UN) seeking a peaceful resolution to the current political impasse in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The CARICOM delegation’s engagements commenced with a meeting with UN Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, on Monday, January 28, at the UN Headquarters in New York. Dr. Harris was accompanied by the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley, and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, as well as several CARICOM Foreign Affairs ministers and Permanent Representatives to the UN of these countries.
Prime Minister Harris described the meeting as fruitful and highly productive, and stated that he was particularly pleased, as the leader of the smallest CARICOM nation, to have led discussions on such an internationally sensitize matter.
“The smallest country in the world was leading on an international matter of significant consequence to world peace and the reordering of political relations,” Prime Minister Harris stated during a sit down interview upon his return to the country.
Dr. Harris noted that while some of the protagonists involved in the matter are economic powerhouses such as the United States, China and Russia, it was the smallest region [CARICOM] that led the way on discussions of peace, adding, “As history would have it, it is the smallest country in the region that is chairing [CARICOM] at this particular moment in time.”
The CARICOM Chairman reaffirmed the 15-member bloc’s position of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for human rights and democracy.
The honourable prime minister however, noted that ultimately, their diplomatic mission was centred on pursuing peace and stability on behalf of the people of Venezuela.
“We have a hopeful view for the people of Venezuela. The same peace that we are enjoying, they would be able to enjoy that peace; the same ability to be able to participate in the international marketplace, we want them to have that; the same challenges that we ask our people to brace themselves for, to take advantage, circumvent challenges and seize opportunities to ensure the continuing growth and development, those same aspirations we want for the people of Venezuela but importantly they have to want them for themselves,” said Prime Minister Harris.
While at the UN Headquarters, Prime Minister Harris and the CARICOM delegation also held meetings with United Nations President of the General Assembly, H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés; Nicaragua UN PR H.E. Mr. Jaime Hermida Castillo; Australia UN PR H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird; South Africa UN PR H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila; Ambassador of Uruguay, H.E. Mr. Elbio Oscar Rosselli Frieri; Ambassador of Brazil H.E. Mauro Luiz Locker Vieira; South African Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila; Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Marc-André Blanchard, as well as Russia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Vassily Nebenzia.
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