By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Bahamas is the sole nominee to represent CARICOM on the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) for the next three years, with elections set for today.
Michael Pintard, minister of agriculture and marine resources, is leading the Bahamas delegation at the FAO’s 41st meeting, which is currently being held in Rome.
Verna Grant, The Bahamas’ FAO ambassador, and Delreese Moss-Grant, national correspondent for the FAO in the ministry of agriculture and marine resources, met with outgoing director-general, Jose Graziano da Silva, on Sunday. His replacement, Dr Qu Dongyu of China, met with the Bahamian delegation on Monday.
Mr Pintard said: “Meetings such as these give small countries like ours an opportunity to sit at the table with more developed nations to speak as peers, but also to gain support through technical assistance, training opportunities, attract investments, receive grants and learn best practices.
“We will aggressively pursue conversations that are strategic to our goal of securing the most productive links for The Bahamas at the FAO.” He added that “the priority for the Bahamian delegation was to conduct bilateral meetings with as many countries as possible in order to address crucial needs the country presently faces”.
Caribbean representatives have been meeting since Sunday to discuss ways to forge closer relations as well as develop exchange programmes and the sharing of information. The Bahamas delegation held a number of bilateral meetings to create links with other international organisations, private sector firms and countries.
It also met with Jeri Kelly, a Bahamian national working for the FAO in Rome.