Press release 140/2012
(25 May 2012)



(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The critical importance of cooperation among like-minded nations to combat the vagaries of climate change was important against the increasingly devastating effects related disasters posed to Small Island Developing States.

These sentiments were expressed on Friday by Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General during the Ceremony for the Presentation of Credentials by His Excellency Yoshimasa Tezuka, new Plenipotentiary Representative of Japan to CARICOM.

Ambassador LaRocque pointed out that climate change remained a “fundamental issue” on which CARICOM and Japan continued to engage.

“This global phenomenon and all its challenges – drought, flooding and hurricanes, coastal erosion and sea-level rise – constitute, not an abstract, scientific concept for the Small Islands and Low-Lying coastal countries of the Caribbean Community, but a very real and increasingly threatening reality. To us, it is a question of survival,” he stated

Secretary-General LaRocque said that the effects of such natural events on Japan, given the devastating impact of the 2011 tsunami and the nuclear crisis spawned by the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s recorded history, “underscore the importance of like-minded states collaborating in disaster mitigation and preparedness.”

“In this vital area of disaster management, the Government of Japan’s assistance in the area of flood hazard mapping and Community-based disaster planning has been invaluable and I wish to take this opportunity to express the Region’s gratitude for this support. We look forward to expanding our cooperation in this critical area,” Ambassador LaRocque stated.

He used the opportunity to reiterate the Community’s appreciation to Japan for its ongoing support for Haiti which was ravaged by an earthquake in 2010.

“As a Community, CARICOM has rallied behind this Member State and Japan has generously accompanied us with financial, technical and other support,” said the Secretary-General said.


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