St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ambassador to Cuba, H.E. Mrs. Verna Mills represented the Government at the handing over ceremony of the Pro Tempore Presidency (PTP) of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which was held on Monday, 14th January 2019 in the capital of El Salvador.

The President of the Republic of El Salvador, H.E. Salvador Sanchez Ceren participated in the meeting of the CELAC Quartet of Foreign Ministers in which El Salvador transferred the PTP of this regional body to the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

The ceremony was presided over by President Sanchez Ceren, who in his opening statements welcomed the members of the Quartet and accentuated the efforts taken by his country during the last 24 months that El Salvador presided over the body, to execute strategic actions that would allow for the integration of the Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, H.E Carlos Castaneda, presented a report of the PTP during El Salvador’s tenure as Chair. He assured that under the PTP exercised by El Salvador, important contributions were made to promote development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Remarks were also given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Miguel Vargas who emphasised that his country would continue to work closely with Bolivia in developing the CELAC agenda. Minister Vargas stated that an important aspect is “to advance and strengthen the extra-regional relations, which contribute so much to us as a Community.” He also broached the topic of the implementation of the mechanism to select the next Pro Tempore Presidencies, which is still pending.

H.E. Diego Pary Rodriguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, in his response, “urged member countries to ensure that constant dialogue is our best instrument of work,

because that will be the only mechanism that will help us to build and advance or resolve differences”.

He added that Bolivia assumes the presidency of CELAC with the spirit of promoting harmony and the principles of dialogue, cooperation, solidarity and complementarity among peoples, in line with the original philosophy.

In her remarks, Ambassador Mills expressed appreciation to El Salvador, for its leadership and for executing its role and responsibilities with distinction. Likewise, Ambassador Mills extended heartfelt congratulations to the Plurinational State of Bolivia on assumption of the presidency.

Ambassador Mills pledged the Government’s commitment and support to the action plan and mission of the CELAC and further committed to working assiduously to cement and give continuity to the consolidation process of the community.

Ambassador Mills concluded her brief remarks by reiterating that St. Kitts and Nevis looks forward to collaborating with Bolivia and the other members of the Quartet at the multilateral level on issues that are of mutual interests to our Governments and peoples.

The pro tempore presidency is the institutional, technical and administrative support body that rotates among the Member States and it operates with the assistance of an Expanded Troika or Quartet of Foreign Ministers. The Quartet of Ministers is composed of the Chancellors of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Miguel Vargas; of Bolivia, H.E. Diego Pary Rodriguez (incoming Chair), of El Salvador, Carlos Castaneda (outgoing Chair), and of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley (current Chair of CARICOM).

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