CULTURE CLASH: Prime Minister Bruce Golding (left) shares a light moment with Mexican Ambassador Leonora Rueda; South Korean Ambassador, Whambok Cho (right) and High Commissioner of India to Jamaica and the Bahamas, Mohinder Grover. Occasion was the January 24 reception at Jamaica House to mark the annual Diplomatic Week, which is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. The event provides diplomats with an opportunity for dialogue and feedback on areas of mutual interest.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Prime Minister Bruce Golding received UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Jeremy Browne (centre) at a courtesy call at Jamaica House on January 21. Mr Browne said that his government wants a strong, and not only a historic, relationship with its Caribbean and Commonwealth partners, even as it modifies its foreign policies to match current global realities.
DIPLOMATIC TIES: High Commissioner of New Zealand to Jamaica, Andrew Needs presented his credentials to Prime minister Bruce Golding on January 24 when he paid a courtesy call on the PM at Jamaica House. The new High Commissioner has pledged to maintain and enhance the close relationships that exist between Jamaica and New Zealand. Noting the efficient and competitive operations of New Zealand’s agricultural sector, both countries discussed the possibility of increasing technical co-operation in that area. PM Golding took the opportunity to express Jamaica's sympathy and hope to be updated on the coal mine explosions in New Zealand.
THE EUROPEAN CONNECTION: Jamaica recently received some J$3.4billion from the European Union. The official handing over took place today on January 25 at a ceremony at Jamaica House. The funds have been channelled through the Budget Support for the Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP), under which over €7.3 million (J$850 million) was disbursed, and the Debt Reduction and Growth Enhancement Programme (DRGEP), through which €21.5 million (J$2.5 billion) was disbursed. This brings the total disbursement under these two programmes which begun in 2009 to €94.5m (J$10.54bn). Seen here making the official presentation to PM Golding (2nd left) is Head of Delegation of the EU, Ambassador Marco Mazzochi-Alemanni (centre). Looking on at are National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson (left); Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw and Minister of Justice, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne.