GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The newly accredited ambassador of Sweden to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Claes Hammar, has described the formalisation of his country’s ties with the Community as an historic and significant step.
Following meetings with ministers of foreign affairs of Sweden and other Nordic countries and CARICOM foreign ministers in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, the ambassador said that his accreditation was significant in deepening Sweden’s relations with “this important region.”
Hammar presented his credentials to CARICOM secretary-general, Irwin LaRocque, on Friday at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.
Outlining his country’s foreign policy agenda, he said that it actively contributed to freedom, peace and reconciliation around the world.
“We work to promote democracy, human rights and sustainable development in cooperation with other countries, regions and multilaterally,” he said.
Hammar said that his country recognised the “seriousness of the global challenges” facing the environment, and wanted the European Union (EU) to continue to take the lead in ongoing efforts to bring about a new global climate agreement in Paris in 2015. He added that Sweden was looking forward to continued cooperation with CARICOM in this area.
The newly accredited envoy said that, given Sweden’s commitment to global multilateral cooperation, it had promoted “a European Union that contributes to the UN’s work, not least in the everyday lives and reality of vulnerable people.”
In this regard, he said that his country was acting to strengthen the humanitarian response system of the UN, evident in its humanitarian assistance to Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. That assistance, he said, had extended to 2014 along with its support of the EU’s cooperation programme in Haiti.
Regarding the Post-2015 Development Agenda, he said that Sweden was keen on seeing new universal sustainable development goals that included “democracy, human rights, gender equality, climate that the environment and freedom from violence.”
“We will continue to work with the UN system to ensure greater transparency, efficiency and results-based management.”
As he called on the Community’s support of Sweden’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the period 2017-2018, he said: “Sweden has a long-standing commitment to peacekeeping, conflict prevention, mediation and peace-building and we believe that this commitment is also shared with the Caribbean countries.”
“Sweden will continue to make a difference by being a reliable and principled voice for democracy and freedom, a long-term, generous and accountable aid donor, and a patient and consistent voice for free trade and multilateral cooperation.”