The theme for the 2019 Diplomatic Week is “Securing a Resilient Future through Effective Diplomacy and Strategic Dialogue”. The week will run from April 7-12.
She quoted the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) definition for resilience which states “Resilience is the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate or recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner”. She pinpointed that resilience is much more than just relating to climate change and environment.
“In order to build resilience, the government needs help, and public-private partnerships are critical to sustainable development,” she said.
She mentioned the CARICOM Strategic Plan for 2015 – 2019, which highlights key areas of intervention centered on different aspects of resilience.
“It is important that we realize the need to become resilient,” she said, and referenced the Budget Address for 2019 where she noted that resilience or resilient was mentioned approximately 19 times and, in 2018 it was mentioned 16 times, indicating that resilience is a priority of the government.
She said that in times of disaster and hazards, it is important to rely on friends, which speaks to the importance of diplomatic relationships.
“Our role as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the National Development Plan is to keep in touch with our partners and donors so that in the event of a hazard or storm, we can make quick connections for a quick response, so our role is to seek international assistance in the aftermath of a disaster,” she said.
She said that the bilateral relationships that exist should have a level of reciprocity to have an open exchange between both countries.