It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Dominica and receive your Letter of Credence issued by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, accrediting you as Representative and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom to the Commonwealth of Dominica. I also acknowledge receipt of the Letter of Recall of your predecessor, His Excellency Paul Brummell.
The United Kingdom continues to be one of Dominica’s main traditional partners as a result of the close historical ties that exist between our two countries. I have every confidence that you will continue the work of your predecessors in strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Dominica and the United Kingdom, and that you will also embrace every opportunity to expand and deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation as we strive for the development of our two peoples. Your Excellency, since the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom on attaining Independence in 1978,
Dominica has benefited and continues to benefit through fruitful bilateral cooperation in human resource development, infrastructural development, security and the fight against crime, and poverty alleviation. Dominica also benefits from overseas development assistance that is channeled through the EU and
multilateral arrangements such as the Commonwealth, and the UK Caribbean Forum. Significant EU funded projects in Dominica include the Air Access Improvement Programme, Dominica Social Investment Fund, Waitukubuli National Trail Programme, Eco-Tourism Development Programme and the West Coast Water Supply
I am pleased to make special mention of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that was signed between Europe and the Caribbean Forum countries in 2008, to explore all avenues to improve access for Caribbean exports of goods and services to Britain and the member countries of the European Union. We also welcome the fact that Britain has agreed to assist the Caribbean improve on food security, and its commitment to provide £2.9 billion for the period 2011/2012 to 2014/2015 towards the International Climate Fund. I recognize the potential of these programmes as effective means of complementing our national growth effort, including our adaptation to climate change and the pursuit of renewable energy. I have no doubt the Government of Dominica will continue to take full advantage of these opportunities.
As we are all aware, there is a significant overseas Dominican population in the United Kingdom, many of whom have established their homes and play an important role in the life of the United Kingdom, serving in various fields and at every level even up to the level of Cabinet Minister and Member of the House of Lords. We therefore welcome the United Kingdom’s reconfirmation in 2011 that visa requirements for nationals of the Commonwealth of Dominica remain unnecessary for those who desire to visit the United Kingdom for a period of less than six months as a tourist or family visitor.
We thank the United Kingdom for providing invaluable economic support to Dominica over the years. Our Partnership with the United Kingdom in various International and Commonwealth initiatives has benefited both our countries and we look forward to a continuation of this close collaboration.
I am aware that Your Excellency will not be resident in Dominica, but I trust that you and your family will visit from time to time, if only to experience the warmth and hospitality of our people, and the natural beauty of our country.
Please convey to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, the best wishes of the Government and People of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and my personal best wishes for Her Majesty’s continued good health and well-being, and for the prosperity of the Government and People of the United Kingdom.
Please enjoy your stay among us and accept my very best wishes for a successful tour of duty.