Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, Dr. Jerome Walcott and Canada’s new High Commissioner to Barbados, Lilian Chatterjee, exchange gifts following their courtesy call today. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Canada’s new High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean States, Lilian Chatterjee, has pledged her commitment to strengthening the ties between Canada and Barbados, which were forged since 1966.

Ms. Chatterjee made this pledge today, when she paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, at the Ministry’s Culloden Road, St. Michael office.

Minister Walcott welcomed High Commissioner Chatterjee to Barbados, and expressed the hope that the two countries would continue their long and established partnership. He also acknowledged the technical assistance Canada provided to Barbados over the years.

In their discussion, the officials spoke on a number of issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to vaccines, the level of vaccination within the population, and the offer from Canada to assist with testing for COVID-19 variants.

Ms. Chatterjee commended Barbados for its management of the pandemic and disclosed that Canada recently contributed CAN$50 million to the Pan American Health Organization. This is to assist Latin America and Caribbean countries with access to COVID-19 vaccines and to aid with technical support.

The two officials also discussed the resumption of flights from Canada, the Global Vulnerability Index, the impact of the volcanic ash from La Soufriere volcano on Barbados, the CARICOM-Canada Foreign Ministers Group Meeting, and a proposed summit of CARICOM Heads of Government with Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

Also in attendance at the courtesy call were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Simone Rudder; Senior Foreign Service Officer, John Blackman; Foreign Service Officer, Nicole Parris, and the Canadian High Commission’s Political and Economic Counsellor, Steve Jaltema. 

Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established soon after Barbados gained independence in 1966, and Barbados has a resident diplomatic presence in Canada since 1967.

The Canadian Government has maintained a trade office in Barbados since 1907, and a formal diplomatic mission was established in Bridgetown in 1973.

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