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Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 12 July 2004 | Release Ref #: 120/2004 | 2848

    The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has received the assurances of the Government of Italy's representative in the Region that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are among the areas in which Italy is interested in increased cooperation with CARICOM. While giving this commitment to the Secretary-General of CARICOM, His Excellency Mr. Edwin Carrington on Monday (July12), Italy's Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM, His Excellency Mr. Gerardo Carante proposed a mechanism of consultations between CARICOM and Italy on all matters of common interest.

    Ambassador Carante made the proposal while presenting his credentials to the CARICOM Secretary-General at the Secretariat's Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana.

    Welcoming the non-resident Italian envoy, the Secretary-General pointed to Italy's commitment of US$9 million in support to the Region's Connectivity Agenda, which includes Radio CARIOM and the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN) which were both launched at the recently held Twenty-Fifth Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in Grenada. Expressing his hope for the early approval of the project, Mr. Carrington noted that at the launch of Radio CARICOM and the CKLN, the Heads of Government were particularly appreciative of the contribution by the Government of Italy. "They also reaffirmed their previously stated commitment to use ICT as a catalyst to further enhance the quality of life of the Region's citizens, particularly in social and human development, poverty reduction and governance," Mr. Carrington pointed out.

    He underscored CARICOM's positive relations with Italy, set against the backdrop of that country's 1988 accession to non-borrowing membership of the Caribbean Development Bank. Relations between CARICOM and Italy were further cemented in 2003, he said, through Italy's contribution to the CARICOM/CARIFORUM Food Security initiative and the CARICOM Information and Communications Technology Connectivity Agenda. He also highlighted that European country's support for Public Sector Management and Information Technology and funding of Public Administration, Governance and Regional Cooperation as noteworthy, and expressed appreciation to the Italian envoy on behalf of all Member States.

    In his response, the Italian representative to CARICOM said the Regional grouping has influenced the hemisphere immeasurably, and he cited the imminent establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as a progressive and prosperous prospect for the Region. "Italy looks with interest and confident expectation at the initiatives which have been boldly taken, particularly through CARICOM, towards increasing cooperation and integration within the Caribbean region," Ambassador Carante said. He added that this is one of the Region's best approaches to meet the challenges of globalization.

    Within the framework of its ongoing programme of assistance to the Caribbean Community, the Italian Representative to CARICOM noted that Italy plans to pursue consultations with CARICOM on issues common to the two sides, and he gave assurance of his commitment to foster enhanced relations and promote shared values between CARICOM and Italy during his tenure.

    Rose Blenman
    Tel: 592-226-9280/9 Ext. 2319
    Email: rblenman@caricom.org