by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 5, 2022
For the past ten days, Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño has been out of the country on duty leave as he leads a Caribbean delegation on a working visit to Berlin, Germany. The Prime Minister is acting in the capacity of the Vice President of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative, SIDS DOCK, whose goal is to assist small island nations with creating a sustainable energy sector and achieving a 25% increase in energy efficiency by the year 2033.
He was accompanied by Ambassador Stuart Leslie; the Chargé d’Affaires from the Embassy of Belize in Brussels, Raineldo Urbina; Chief Tourism Officer from the Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, Raymond Mossiah; and Wolf Kahles, Belize’s Honorary Consul to Stuttgart, Germany. The delegation also included technical experts from the SIDS DOCK Secretariat.
As part of the working visit, the Prime Minister has been discussing the future of renewable energy in Belize with top-level sustainable energy experts such as Martin Lugmayr of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). A central part of that discussion is the mitigation of the threat of sargassum through potentially utilizing it in the country’s energy sector via waste-to-energy technology.
According to Prime Minister Briceño, discussions were also held on issues related to governance, the environment, peace and security, and cooperation between Germany, Belize, and small Caribbean island states. He met with several German officials, including the Minister of State in the Foreign Federal Office, Dr. Tobias Lindner; State Secretary Christiane Rohleder of the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection; and the Leader of the German Green Party, Mr. Omar Nouripour.
During his trip to Germany, Prime Minister Briceño also acknowledged the six-million Jewish lives lost during World War II with a visit to Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial. The Prime Minister noted on his Twitter account that the visit was “particularly pointed,” for him as he comes from a multicultural nation. Along with photos of the memorial, the Prime Minister shared a quote by Winston Churchill: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”