Pres Ali to give keynote address to UK Caribbean Council/House of Lords

– audience to include UK MPs, peers & UK-Caribbean business leaders

In continuing a trend of high-profile engagements on the regional and global stage, President Dr Irfaan Ali will deliver the keynote address at the prestigious Caribbean Council’s House of Lords Annual Reception on Wednesday, in the United Kingdom (UK).

President Dr Irfaan Ali

The Caribbean Council’s House of Lords Annual Reception is geared towards providing UK, Caribbean and Central American countries and companies the opportunity to network with their counterparts in Europe.
According to a statement from the Government, the reception will see the attendance of over 200 guests active in Caribbean politics and business. They include an influential mix of Members of Parliament (MPs) and peers (noblemen and women).
Additionally, the audience will include High Commissioners, Ambassadors, UK civil service members from the Foreign Office, UK and Caribbean business leaders and international investors, non-governmental organisations and members of the Caribbean community in the UK.
“President Ali is expected to speak on Guyana’s status as the fastest-growing economy globally and the rapid development that his Government has embarked upon. He is also expected to highlight Government’s plans for stimulating and expanding the country’s traditional sectors, especially its infrastructure and attracting inward investment across the country,” the Government explained.
“While in the UK, President Ali will also lead a delegation to participate in the Guyana Investment Seminar to be held at Carlton House. The Head of State will be accompanied by the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond and CEO of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr Peter Ramsaroop.”
Guyana has been taking a prominent role in the promotion of the UK-Caribbean partnership. This was evident at last year’s 10th UK-Caribbean Forum, where Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd had talked up the need for exceptional measures to restore debt sustainability and address urgent financing gaps.
Minister Todd had also referenced the need for vaccines, which he said are an immediate and fundamental step to enable early achievement of herd immunity, which will curb the pandemic, protect citizens and allow for the full reopening of economies.
Moreover, he highlighted the key role of structural transformation and access to financing in building resilience over the medium to long term. The UK-Caribbean Forum is a biennial event, which provides a platform for exchange between Foreign Ministers on bilateral, regional, and global issues.
Last year’s event focused specifically on climate change, economic resilience, disaster management concerning small island developing states (SIDS), COVID-19 recovery, and immigration, among other areas.
At the conclusion of the forum, the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom and Caribbean countries had agreed on an action plan for a two-year period, up to 2023, when the next full forum meeting is currently envisaged.
This action plan was intended to allow for a strategic and sustained approach to the UK-Caribbean relationship, based on ambitious, yet focussed and realistic commitments.
It serves as a road map for the practical implementation of the communique and sets out the enhanced commitments of both the UK and Caribbean Forum countries for a renewed and strengthened partnership.
According to a Caricom statement, it was concluded that it is important to act together for mutual benefit and the global common good, based on their many shared values, particularly around the COVID-19 global pandemic and climate change.
Additionally, this action plan will remain a standing agenda for review at quarterly meetings between Caribbean High Commissioners based in London and the Minister for the Caribbean at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Together, they will agree joint action in cases where specific objectives are at risk of not being met.