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UK Government reopens High Commission office in Grenada

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by Linda Straker

  • Small UK mission is scheduled to officially open late December 2019 or early January 2020
  • Will not issue British passports and visas
  • A priority of new resident High Commissioner, Wendy Freeman, will be climate change

Eleven years after closing its High Commission office, the United Kingdom Government will reopen an office in Grenada as part of an initiative aimed at rebuilding and strengthening its diplomatic presence with Commonwealth nations.

“This is all part of the UK Government’s initiative to strengthen our link with Commonwealth nations. We are forging new ties with our diplomatic presence,” said Wendy Freeman, the new resident High Commissioner who is already working on the island.

The small mission which will be in L’ance aux Epines is scheduled to officially open its doors in late December 2019 or early January 2020. It will be engaging in all diplomatic responsibilities apart from issuing British passports and visas.

“These will not be processed here but will be done by the office in Barbados,” said Freeman who has already paid courtesy calls on Head of State, Governor-General Dame Cecile La Grenade and Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.

Since her arrival in October, Freeman has engaged in several public duties including presentation of gifts to four educational institutions. She accompanied the Governor-General to hand over computers donated by British businessman Daniel Forster of KEYAV Ltd, to Concorde Government School, New Life Organisation (NEWLO), Paraclete Government School and St Joseph’s RC School.

“The contingent received a warm welcome from the schools’ principals and students, who were grateful for the boost in IT equipment,’ said a posting on the Barbados and OECS UK High Commission’s Facebook page.

UK High commissioner to Barbados with resident commissioners

In early November, Freeman attended a welcome reception for herself and three other new High Commissioners at the residence of the UK High Commissioner in Barbados, Her Excellency Janet Douglas.

“The opening of three new offices in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines means that the UK now has the largest diplomatic network in the Eastern Caribbean. These new posts join our existing offices in Barbados and St Lucia, giving the UK physical representation in five of the seven countries covered by the Bridgetown and Eastern Caribbean network,” said a statement on the commission’s Facebook page.

The offices in the three islands were closed in 2008 as part of a move by the United Kingdom Government to restructure its diplomatic presence in the Eastern Caribbean.

Freeman said one of her priorities will be focusing on climate change. In September it was announced that the UK won the bid to host the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) following a partnership with Italy. It will be held from 9-19 November 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference which will bring together more than 30,000 delegates is designed to produce an international response to the climate emergency. The UK will host the main COP summit while Italy will host preparatory events and a significant youth event, as part of the agreement.

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Caribbean & World

Breaking News: Twely Joseph guilty of Capital Murder

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

A 12-member jury this evening found 19-year-old Twely Joseph guilty of Capital Murder in the death of 8-year-old Ariel Bolah of Frequente, St George.

Joseph is expected to be sentenced on 31 January 2020.

Complete story to follow.

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Peter David meets with UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation

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by Linda Straker

  • Support for dialysis machine for Grenada’s General Hospital discussed
  • Grenada has consulate and diplomatic representation in Dubai
  • Participated in third Expo 2020 Preparatory Meeting

Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Peter David, from 28-29 November was in Dubai and met with Minister Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimi who is the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, as well as the managing director for Expo 2020.

The two ministers, among other matters, discussed support for a dialysis machine for Grenada’s General Hospital and Dubai’s contribution to assist in financing Grenada’s participation and delegation to attend the expo.

While in Dubai, Minister David also held bilateral meetings with other officials of the Dubai Government, during which the parties agreed on close cooperation during the preparatory work and during the Expo 2020 exhibition, which, according to the Minister, will see Grenada on full display. Grenada and The UAE already have strong ties, for a relatively new relationship.

The UAE has stepped up in the last five or so years, to show their support for Grenada’s development. This was demonstrated through their huge grant donation to assist with the rebuilding of Grenada’s premier democratic institution, the Houses of Parliament, which was opened in June 2018.

Grenada even has a consulate and diplomatic representation in Dubai now. So, the relationship is definitely growing, and the UAE has a strong commitment to ensuring that developing countries, such as Grenada, fully benefit from the World Expo 2020.

While in Dubai last week, Minister David, and Shanta Cox, of the Ministry of International Business, also participated in the third Expo Preparatory Meeting, which was held over the two days.

More than 15 local manufacturers have already registered with the Grenada committee to attend the Expo, which will run from October 2020 to March 2021. International Business Minister Nickolas Steele said that Grenada will be having its own booth/pavilion for the Dubai event. Previously Grenada’s products were displayed with the Caricom booth.

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Grenada represented at CDEMA’s annual CDM conference in Sint Maarten

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A five-member team is representing Grenada at the eleventh Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) annual Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference in Sint Maarten.

The conference is held under the theme, “The Road to Resilience Checkpoint 2019 – Safeguarding Our Communities, Livelihoods and Economies.”

The team consists of Acting Disaster Management Coordinator Supt. Sylvan Mc Intyre; Youth Representative Donte Mc Gillivary from Carriacou; Jamilla Lewis-Samuel, Communication Supervisor, NAWASA and two members from the Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC).

McIntyre said the conference provides an opportunity for disaster managers across the CDEMA framework to reflect and review the just-concluded hurricane season, analysing lessons learnt, best practices and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

“It is also a platform for showcasing disaster risk reduction initiatives, new equipment, new ideas and new spectrum for ensuring that we prepare for disaster and the events in the Caribbean that can affect us negatively,” Mc Intyre said.

One of the highlights of the conference is youth involvement. The youth representatives from the region will be engaged in debates, tours, school visits explaining to students and their peer’s aspects of Comprehensive Disaster Management.

The youth representatives are expected to be ambassadors in sharing the message of comprehensive disaster management in their respective countries.

The conference which has attracted over 400 representatives from across the region will conclude on Friday.

About the CDM Conference

The CDM Conference is the Caribbean region’s premier event on Disaster Risk Management and is hosted in collaboration with the Government of Sint Maarten. Over the years, the CDM Conference has showcased best practices emerging from CDEMA’s 18 participating states.

The event has also provided a space for the convening of professional development sessions for DRM Practitioners, Planners, Environmental Scientists, among others, within the CDEMA Participating States as well as stakeholders beyond our region. It has emerged as a platform for the engagement of niche groups/sectors in the DRM dialogue, physical planners, meteorologists, climate change stakeholders, researchers, educators and public and private financial experts; facilitated inter-stakeholder exchanges/networking and new policy ideas. As such, the CDM conference is viewed as an important mechanism for stakeholder engagement and intersectoral exchanges

For additional information, please contact Oslyn Crosby Public Relations Officer NaDMA on 440-8390-4 & 440-0838, cell: 533-0766, or email: nadma@spiceisle.com and nadmapr@gmail.com .

NaDMA, the official source for all disaster-related information in Grenada. 

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