Barbados – Australia to deepen cooperation

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Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP, Prime Minister of Barbados

By Sharon Austin

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (BGIS) — Prime minister Mia Amor Mottley wants Barbados and Australia to deepen their cooperation, especially in the area of the blue economy, with emphasis on coral reefs.

Mottley shared her views on Friday as she received the Letter of Introduction from Australia’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Bruce Lendon, during a courtesy call, at Ilaro Court.

During the discussions, she underscored the importance of protecting the coral reefs, and the work being done by this country in that area.

The prime minister said the cooperation between the two countries should also be in the area of education, so as to give the young people an opportunity to interact and have exchanges. She reiterated her view that our young people must be empowered to become global citizens, with Barbadian roots.

As Mottley prepared to join world leaders who are gathering in Glasgow this weekend for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), she emphasised in her conversation with the High Commissioner the need to limit global warming.

She indicated that if the 1.5 degrees’ Celsius limit could not be met, then small island developing states would need money and technical assistance to help with adaptation, which must be done over the next 10 to 12 years.

Unplanned development, she pointed out, was being seen, and it had to be addressed before lives were lost. She stressed that in fighting the accumulating debt from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, “out of the box thinking” was required.

High Commissioner Lendon said he was pleased that Barbados was interested in furthering its cooperation with Australia in the areas identified by the prime minister, and suggested that they should work to ensure they became a reality.

With regard to climate change, he noted that people were recognising that it was a real phenomenon, as they were seeing its risks and dangers.

During Friday’s courtesy call, prime minister Mottley and High Commissioner Lendon also discussed energy-related matters. Those in attendance included the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Dr Jerome Walcott; deputy permanent secretary in that ministry, Donna Forde, and Australia’s Honorary Consul to Barbados, James Gardiner.

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