Belfast, Northern Ireland — The Consulate for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland recently held a luncheon for the members of the consular corps of Northern Ireland and joint secretariats of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC).
The luncheon focused on discussions concerning business, trade, investment, corporation tax, transport, energy, immigration, tourism, partnership and collaboration concerning both Northern Ireland (UK) and South (Ireland) and the countries with official foreign government representation in Northern Ireland.
Consul for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland & Secretariat of the Consular Corps of Northern Ireland, Dr. Christopher Stange, delivered a presentation on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a briefing on the OECS and CARICOM bodies.
The NSMC is supported by a standing joint secretariat, based in Armagh and staffed by members of the Northern Ireland and Irish Civil Service. It was established under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (1998), to develop consultation, co-operation and action on an all-island and cross-border basis concerning matters of mutual interest and within the competence of the administrations, both north and south. It is comprised of ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish government, working together to enhance co-operation across the island for mutual benefit.
Dr. Stange had the honor to meet with His Royal Highness, The Duke of York who was guest of honor at the annual Hillsborough Castle Garden Party, hosted by newly appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers, MP.
Dr. Stange briefed the duke on the Caribbean Diaspora, on Vincentians serving in the British Army posted in Northern Ireland and the work of the SVG Consulate in Northern Ireland, including various economic and social development initiatives.
The St.Vincent and the Grenadines National Anthem was played by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Band before the duke met with central and local government officials, diplomats, heads of civil service agencies, dignitaries, invited guests and army personnel serving in Northern Ireland.
The Duke of York was invited to plant a tree in honor of the visit, followed by signing the visitor’s book at Hillsborough Castle, before departing for other engagements in Ballymena.