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Minister of Foreign and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean. (FP)

Matters relating to climate change, protecting the island’s coral reefs and the importance of the Caribbean sea to the region were among the areas discussed when Australian High Commissioner, William Tysoe, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.

During the meeting at the Ministry’s Culloden Road headquarters recently, the High Commissioner pledged his country’s assistance to the region and added that the G20 Conference in Australia next year, would be used to "engage the Caribbean and Small Island Developing States on issues that are relevant to be pursued through the G20 process".

In turn, Senator McClean said one of the issues discussed at the recently concluded Council of Foreign Ministers meeting was SIDS and post 2015. She stated that this was important for Barbados as one of the venues for the hosting of a SIDS preparatory meeting.

She added: "…We have invested heavily in advocacy and we need now to convert that into tangible benefits which would be achieved through a process of South-South cooperation and the provision of technical assistance.

"We have been doing a lot over the years which we [Barbados] need to share with the world in terms of addressing issues of climate change and tackling some of the challenges of SIDS.?? Therefore, we feel that there is much that we can share with similar countries."

High Commissioner Tysoe expressed delight with the synergies generated between Australia and the Caribbean on this issue and said he anticipated a closer working relationship in this regard.

Australia and Barbados established diplomatic ties on January 7, 1974.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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