PRIME Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Friday, turned the sod for the construction of a new building to be used as the residence of the CARICOM Secretary-General.
“We’re still in the design stage, where you know the architect will do their work and then a costing will be done and in consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Secretary General,” the Prime Minister said.
He said too while a commencement date has not been confirmed, the project would start very soon. The building will be constructed in Pradoville, on the East Coast of Demerara.
Meanwhile, Ambassador LaRocque said there has been a need for an official residence and that need has been recognised by President, Dr. Irfaan Ali.
“I think it’s a great, great moment, it’s not just a ceremony. I think it demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Guyana to CARICOM.
“We have to remember that this is the seat of the headquarters of the Community… [and] the Secretariat has a meaning and here will have a meaning,” LaRocque said.
He also said the plans for this building have not been in the pipelines for a long time and as such he was honoured to do the sod turning, which is a step towards construction.
Ambassador LaRocque said this will be his last official project as CARICOM Secretary-General and he believes that two terms in office is adequate.
“[I am] passing the baton on to somebody with fresh ideas, fresh set of energy to go forward,” Ambassador LaRocque, who retires this year, said.
Belizean, Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett, is scheduled to take over soon as CARICOM Secretary-General.
Also present at the simple ceremony were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Hugh Todd; Foreign Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Robert Persaud, and Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Ministry, Elizabeth Harper. (DPI)