Georgetown, Guyana – (September 15, 2015) His Excellency, Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan to Canada and Concurrent Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, today became the first Kazakhstan Ambassador to be accredited to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The presentation of credentials took place at the CARICOM Headquarters, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, earlier today and was followed by a reception at the Marriott Hotel Guyana, where several diplomats and government officials were in attendance.
The accreditation was followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Government of Kazakhstan to the tune of US $250,000 at the reception. the MOU was signed for the development of a water resource management plan for the Caribbean region, including Guyana.
Among the guests at the event were: Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, Irwin Larocque, British High Commissioner to Guyana, His Excellency, Greg Quinn, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, His Excellency, Ventakachalam Mahalingam, US Chargé d’Affaires to Guyana, Bryan Hunt, Suriname’s Ambassador to Guyana, Nisha Kurban-Baboe, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland and Resident Coordinator for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Marianne Flach.
Secretary General of Caricom, Irwin Larocque, in brief remarks, expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Government of Kazakhstan for funding the project, which is expected to begin immediately and run for approximately three years.
Minister Harmon, in welcoming Ambassador Zhigalov to the country and the Caribbean, expressed the Government’s wish to develop and foster good relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan for the good of the citizens of both countries.
The newly accredited Ambassador to the Caribbean Community said that the new relationship between the region and the Republic of Kazakhstan will see many engagements and projects being implemented for the development of the Caribbean region including Guyana.
“We see the development of Caricom countries, especially Guyana, on regional and global affairs. We see many opportunities for cooperation with CARICOM and Guyana. Kazakhstan and Caricom share common approaches to many international challenges such as; economic, social, environmental and technological problems as well as research and developmental programmes and so we see the fostering of a good relationship,” Ambassador said.
Speaking to the issue of climate change and the effect on the Caribbean region, Ambassador Zhigalov committed his country’s assistance and support to Caricom in times of disasters and distress.
“We understand the serious threats facing the small islands in the Caribbean region and Kazakhstan stands ready to support Caricom in its challenges and unforeseen circumstances; hurricanes, floods, by contributing much needed financial assistance,” he said.
Ambassador Zhigalov also offered collaboration and guidance on energy policies for Caricom countries.
“One of the growing forces in the Caricom region which is challenging is energy and this is an area that Kazakhstan is leading in and we want to explore initiatives that can be of help. We are ready to work with the Caribbean community in energy, capacity building, technology transfer and institutional development.
There is a lot we can learn from each other,” Ambassador Zhigalov told the invitees.
His Excellency Zhigalov will act as the Non-resident Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Caribbean Community and will be based in Ottawa, Canada.
Yesterday Ambassador Zhigalov met with Minister Harmon at the Ministry of the Presidency and solicited Guyana’s cooperation in seeking membership for Kazakhstan to have a non-permanent seat on the United Nation’s Security Council. He also presented a letter for President David Granger from the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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