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Prime Minister John Briceño congratulates Dr Carla Barnett, says his government takes credit for her election

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Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2021. 4:47 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “I like to take the opportunity to congratulate Carla Barnett who is now the new Secretary-General of CARICOM and I must tell you that our government, we have to take credit because we were the ones that did the entire campaign to get her elected,” said the Prime Minister John Briceño on Love FM’s Morning Show on Wednesday morning.

Dr. Barnett was installed as the first woman and first Belizean Secretary-General of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday, August 16 after being unanimously appointed by the CARICOM Heads of Government on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

“Now, we could have taken the political card and say we are not going to do anything. But, we are Belizeans and I think she’s qualified and so we campaigned very hard,” Briceño said.

“The foreign minister did an extraordinary job calling foreign ministers trying to create quickly a relationship with them because we were just elected and myself calling certain, different Heads of Government and we got her elected. I think she’s the better candidate that that was offered and I know she will do Belize proud.”

Dr. Barnett replaced Ambassador Irwin LaRocque who completing his second term as CARICOM’s Secretary-general.

“We will invite community stakeholders in all sectors including the media to reach out to the secretariat letting us know their fears, their concerns, their vision for the future of the community and telling us how they feel they can contribute to continuing the building of our community,” Dr. Barnett said on Monday as she took over the office.

“This must be our mantra as we seek to build a truly integrated, inclusive, and resilient community that is driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation, and productivity where every citizen is secure with guaranteed human rights and social justice and contributes to and shares in its economic, social and cultural prosperity.”

Dr. Barnett was the first female Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM, a capacity she held from 1997 to 2002.

Prime Minister Briceño said we have Belizeans with great talent also recognizing Carlos Fuller’s United Nations appointment.

“Carlos Fuller was elected to the ECOSOC, that’s the Economic and Social Council for the United Nations That’s a big deal. That is the second most important committee next to the Security Council,” PM Briceño said.

“We have good Belizean with great talent doing things.”

Prime Minister Briceño also thanked outgoing Secretary-General LaRoque for doing a good job, since he had to be innovative in managing CARICOM’s affairs, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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