(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen,
Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Permit me to take this
opportunity to welcome you most heartily to the
Republic of Suriname. I also wish to extend a
special welcome to the Ministers and delegations of
Third Party States, invited to address our
According to Article 16 of the
Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, COFCOR is the
Ministerial Council responsible for inter alia,
determining relations between the Caribbean
Community and International Organizations and Third
COFCOR should also, through
consultation; coordination and collaboration
determine as far as possible and practicable the
Community’s policy regarding Foreign Relations’
issues for and on behalf of the Community.
It is furthermore of utmost
importance that COFCOR also fully implements its
mandated collaboration with the Council for Trade
and Development (COTED), in order to promote and
develop coordinated policies in a holistic manner
for the enhancement of external economic and trade
relations of the Community. With this in mind we
need to assess the consequences for our Community of
the constantly changing international environment
and determine our international agenda and the
modalities for a more effective coordination of our
foreign policy, aimed at furthering the economic and
sustainable development of our Region and Member
Excellencies, Ladies and
Foreign Policy coordination also
requires that we as ministers and as Member States,
participate more pro-actively, in multilateral
organizations and where necessary to bring about a
reorientation of our focus.
Although the need for policy
coordination is imperative, we should also emphasize
the Treaty’s principle in recognizing that each
Member State has the sovereign right to determine
its own foreign policy.
Before I conclude, I want to take
this opportunity to thank my Colleague Minister from
St. Kitts and Nevis, The Honorable Sam Terrence
Condor for his stewardship the last six (6) months.
I am sure that with my colleagues
in the Bureau of COFCOR, the Foreign Ministers of
St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago, with
the assistance and support of the Secretary-General,
the CARICOM Secretariat, we will be able to ensure
that the interest of the Community shall be
safeguarded while bringing around some necessary
changes in our conduct with the outside world, for
the benefit of our Peoples.
Finally I invite you to enjoy the beauty of my
country and the hospitality of its people.
May the Almighty bless you.