Browne: Americas summit productive for Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden at the inaugural event of the IX Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California on June 8 – COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

THE Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, was very productive for Trinidad and Tobago, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne said on Saturday.

Browne and Energy Minister Stuart Young were part of a delegation to the summit that was led by the Prime Minister. They left TT for Los Angeles on June 6. The summit ended on June 10.

“The summit was extremely productive for TT and for the Caribbean Community (Caricom),” he said.

Browne said the week and the build-up to the summit “marked one of our most intensive periods of diplomatic engagement.” He thanked TT Ambassador to Washington DC Anthony Phillips-Spencer, the staff at the TT Embassy in Washington DC and ministry officials for their contributions towards a significant volume of preparatory work.

All of it provided the platform for Dr Rowley to “make fruitful and effective interventions, and for the Trinidad and Tobago delegation to fulfill its mandate within a coordinated Caricom presence.”

Browne said he was proud to witness Rowley’s “display of majestic statesmanship during his contributions to an intense Caricom caucus meeting on Wednesday (June 8).”

Rowley, he continued, performed at the same level on June 9 during his presentation of key perspectives and recommendations at a highly significant subsequent meeting on June 8 between Caribbean leaders, US President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris

Browne also held discussions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Organisation of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro; his Costa Rican, Argentine and Caricom counterparts and other top foreign diplomats at the summit last week.

Those talks dealt with national priorities as well as Caricom agenda items such as food security, energy security and regional financing.

On June 9, Young held talks with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.

Those discussions dealt with TT’s agreement to sign the Global Methane Pledge as well as its plans to identify methane emissions and reduction.

Young said he also discussed with Kerry, “plans to utilise renewable energy in our electricity grid, starting with Project Lara and the 112.2 MW to be produced via solar and the intention to pursue more solar and studies being done to ascertain the feasibility of wind generated power.”

In an address at the summit’s second plenary session on June 10, Rowley said the summit “provides a platform of opportunity and promise that should not be missed.”

He referred to the challenges posed to the world by the covid19 pandemic over the last two years and by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February.

“It is my considered view that the compounded and reinforced challenges presented to global supply chains, energy and food security, among others should sharpen our focus on the risks that we all face now and the damage that can be done to future generations if we don’t get it right.”

Finance Minister Colm Imbert is acting prime minister until Rowley returns.