On 18–19 September 2019, the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Under Secretary Jānis Mažeiks was in Jamaica for political consultations.
In a meeting with Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Jamaican Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jānis Mažeiks discussed prospects for bilateral cooperation between Latvia and Jamaica, mutual support in international organisations including at the United Nations. The officials also discussed the state of affairs in the Baltic Sea and Caribbean regions and topics concerning climate change and sustainable development.
Resource management, wastewater treatment, supply and management of renewable resources were discussed as potential sectors for cooperation. Jamaica urged Latvia to strengthen its presence in the Caribbean region by appointing an ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Cooperation is already underway between the University of the West Indies and the Daugavpils University through the Erasmus+ programme.
Jānis Mažeiks delivered a lecture, “The Changing Nature of Diplomatic Engagement: A View from Latvia” at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, which was attended by diplomats accredited to Jamaica, the consular corps, representatives of businesses and students. After the lecture, Jānis Mažeiks answered many questions on Latvia’s foreign policy, history, regional cooperation and environmental protection.
Current issues important to Jamaica were discussed in a meeting with Diana Thorburn, Director of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI).
To follow up on cooperation between Latvia and Jamaica in sports, especially bobsleighing, the Political Director met with Christopher Samuda, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association and Nelson Christian Stokes, Chairman of the Jamaica Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, to whom he forwarded greetings and a book from Aldonis Vrubļevskis, President of the Latvian Olympic Committee, and Zintis Ekmanis, Vice President of the Latvian Bobsleigh Federation. Jamaica is interested in continuing cooperation with the winter sport of bobsleighing and on preparing athletes for triathlons. The country is planning to develop its sports infrastructure and build ice halls and skating rinks.
On 19 September, there was a meeting with the Vice President of the Jamaican National Water Commission, who showed interest in Latvia’s experience and expertise in water management and wastewater treatment.
As part of his visit, Jānis Mažeiks gave interviews to the “Smile Jamaica” programme on Television Jamaica and to “CVM at Sunrise” on CVM Television, where he told the audiences about Latvia, contacts and opportunities for cooperation with Jamaica.
This was the first ever high-level visit of a Latvian diplomat to Jamaica. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to thank the Latvian Honorary Consul in Jamaica, Robert Scott, for his support in arranging the visit.
Diplomatic relations with Jamaica were established on 18 December 1991. Robert Christopher Scott has been Honorary Consul of Latvia in Jamaica since 2008.
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