Kazakhstan is seeking to assist Dominica in its recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika.
Ambassador Konstantin Zhigalov presented his credentials to Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Tuesday at the headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Guyana. Ambassador Zhigalov expressed his country’s regrets at the loss of life and property in Dominica and indicated Kazakhstan’s interest in rendering assistance.
Secretary-General LaRocque, recently returned from a visit to the stricken island, cited the situation there along with the climatic events in Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2013 as evidence of the devastating effects of climate change. He pointed out that the unusual patterns of rainfall in our Region were a manifestation of the phenomenon of climate change.
“We are in need of support and resources to address the severe challenges of the effects of climate change in order to build our resilience,” he added.
In welcoming Kazakhstan’s first ever Ambassador to the Community, Secretary-General LaRocque alluded to discussions held in New York between the Foreign Ministers of the CARICOM and Kazakhstan last year in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. He recalled that the CARICOM Ministers had proposed that the two sides work together to develop projects in sustainable energy. In pointing out that the proposal should be followed upon quickly, Ambassador LaRocque said “that form of energy will not only be powering our future development but will also be a means of safeguarding our very special but fragile natural environment.”
The Secretary-General referred to the Community’s support for Kazakhstan to host EXPO 2017 which will be held in that country’s capital Astana. He noted that theme “Energy of the Future” was most apt as it focused on renewable energy.
Ambassador Zhigalov, in his remarks, stressed the importance of maintaining a high level of engagement and informed that his country was eager to assist in the development of the renewable energy sector in the Region. He said there was much that Kazakhstan can learn from the Region particularly in the development of its tourism product and cultural industries.
The two sides signed an agreement for Kazakhstan to support the Development of an Integrated Water Resource Management Policy for CARICOM and have almost concluded discussions on a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a better structure for future co-operation.