For some the United Nations is an assemblage that fosters the social act of getting together for a common purpose.
For others, its deliberations and work reduces conflict or satisfies one of their needs. Still for others – like many New York Barbadians, the common practice all over the world of linking social activity with meetings is an opportunity to get together, have both light hearted and deep discussions while enjoying a tasty meal.
This year’s post United Nations Monday evening’s activity – hosted by Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Trade – and held at the Consular offices on 820 Second Avenue, was well attended – including several persons who live up State New York – and clearly an enjoyable evening.
It presented, the CARICOM diplomatic staff in attendance, and Raymond Wolfe – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United Nations, in particular, a chance to publicly say thank you to Barbados for the role which it continues to play on matters of Caribbean importance and interest.
On the other hand, Minister McClean’s plan was simply to allow the get -together to ebb and flow, to permit Barbadians to enjoy themselves and intermingle. However, patrons thought otherwise and the Minister acceded and in a short address, shared some information with regard matters of alternative energy, food security, food safety, Caribbean cooperation and Barbados’ well being, among other things.
“The discussions here and elsewhere – Europe for example – show clear parallels with the discussions at home. I am therefore able to say that Barbados continues to be a good example in terms of a response… Indeed many of my colleagues look to Barbados for support and they say that Barbados may be small but it is resilient. One of the things that I can tell you is that we have made some major decisions to restructure our economy … we are not insulated or isolated from the realities of the Global circumstances that we all face. However we continue to ensure that we have a safety net for Barbadians who have been challenged.”
She also stated that Barbados had received an invitation to participate in an international meeting.
“I was invited by the USA secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the Foreign Minister of Columbia to sit in a round table meeting – Connecting 2020 – to talk about initiatives to generate electricity particularly using alternative sources … It is proposed that the excess energy will be linked across the region and the hemisphere so that the region can have the benefit of lower cost and prices.”
The Minister was glad to see that the practice of engaging Barbadians wherever they are is continuing. It is a practice which former Prime Minister, the late David Thompson promoted and considered important. In that regard she referred to the recently concluded Diaspora conference as an extremely successful event and said:
“We were able to bring together delegates from Panama and young people from Cuba, to showcase a number of Cultural offerings from the perspective of what could be commercialised as Cultural Industries and to make connections so that Barbadians could help finance the film “once upon an isle which will be filmed in Barbados ”
Among those present were Chare Burnett, permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Goddard, Consul Generals Lennox Price, Captain Livy Goring and Jessica Odle-Baril, a cuddly Foundation Posse among others. *firstname.lastname@example.org