Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Maxine McClean says Barbados will be leaning on its international allies, such as the Republic of Korea to advance the interests of small island developing states following the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement.
Last week, President Donald Trump rejected the deal aimed at curbing global warming, charging that it would severely hurt Americans.
Trump, who has been heavily criticized for the move, claimed that the deal would have resulted in the loss of more than 2.7 million American jobs by 2025. He vowed to work on “a fairer deal” that would benefit American workers.
McClean who was disappointed with Washington’s move, suggested that now was not the time for countries to surrender the fight against climate change.
“As we know the United States of America which was expected to play a leading role in the efforts to reduce climate change has signalled its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, now more than ever countries like Barbados and Korea will have to redouble their efforts and work closely together to lead their commitments and targets,” she said at the start of a concert celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations between Barbados and the Republic of Korea last Friday at the Walcott Warner Theatre at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
McClean added that Barbados and the Republic of Korea would continue to advance efforts to develop the renewable energy sector.
“The relations between Barbados and the Republic of Korea are based on trust and a commitment to cooperation in our respective and shared interests. Our countries stand apart on a map but we stand close together in the common desire to provide the best possible life for our people,” she said.
Korean Ambassador to Barbados Doo–Young Lee, who welcomed patrons to the event, endorsed her comments as he hailed the close ties developed between the two countries since 1977.
“Forty years ago, as the leaders of our two countries agreed to join efforts for the common peace and prosperity of our two friendly nations, I am confident that we will steadily and continuously pursue our common endeavours in the years to come.”
The concert entitled Sounds of Korea 2017 was an exquisite showcase of culture.
The stars of the night were Korean traditional music group, The Queen that performed a mixture of traditional and modern Korean music.
The seven-member all female group who was beautifully attired in their traditional Korean dresses, named a hanbok, captivated those in attendance with their piercing vocals and shrilling sounds.
Using their unique instruments such as the gayageum, daeguem, haeguem, geomungo and electronic violin, The Queen left the audience in awe with their performances of contemporary music pieces such as hits like You Raise Me Up and the Mission Impossible Soundtrack.
The group also performed a medley of Korean pop songs to the delight of the younger members of the audience.