Thank you, Mr. President. Let me thank the Government and the people of Mexico for their excellent hospitality.
Mr. Chairman, this is the first conference that I am attending since being elected as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia on July 26, 2021, and I feel privileged to be in the company of members of CELAC.
Mr. President, Saint Lucia is a small country of only 238 square miles but our people share the same hopes and aspirations of people all over the world who care for a better quality of life and respect the doctrine of this democracy and non-interference in the external affairs of the other countries.
Mr. President, despite our size we share the same problems:
1. Unemployment among our people; youth and women in particular.
2. The threat of climate change can and has nearly wiped out entire countries.
3. The failure of the international financial community to recognize our vulnerability and halt the classification of our economies as middle-income countries particularly now with the crisis of COVID.
4. The unequal financial and trade restrictions placed on our small economies. In this regard, we note the accession of Costa Rica to the OECD and trust that our issues will be raised in that important body.
Mr. President, we believe that CELAC can serve as an important voice for unity and cooperation in our region. We look forward to the deliberations on self-sufficiency in health matters particularly at the time when our countries are plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need unity to fight the misinformation on vaccination. Saint Lucia believes that unity and integration of the people of CELAC can serve the people of our region in good stead.
We thank the Government and the people of Cuba for their support with medical personnel particularly now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We salute the heroic people of Cuba and Venezuela and look toward to an improvement in the quality of life in their countries.
Mr. President, we affirm our commitment to true democracy and call for a peaceful and equitable opportunity for our people to survive and improve their quality of life.
Mr. President, Saint Lucia believes that regional economic integration provides a common platform through which members can best promote their interest with the rest of the international community – We respect this type of multilateral diplomacy.
Mr. President my party, the Saint Lucia Labour Party won the general elections with a resounding mandate under the theme “Putting People First”.
We believe that organisations like CELAC share the same philosophy and we look forward to meaningful engagement and participation.
I thank you.