Newly appointed Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic, says that her focus is to strengthen the “good relations” between the two countries.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, High Commissioner Tudakovic, who officially began her duties in March 2021, noted that Jamaica and Canada have established bilateral cooperation in the areas of security, migration and development and have strong partnership in the multilateral fora.
“So really, it is to make sure that we are a little more coherent in terms of a strategic approach to Jamaica and building on what we already have,” she said.
The High Commissioner, who is from Vancouver, West Coast of Canada, said that the strengthening of people-to-people ties will also be one of her goals “and building on those relationships on the cultural and social diplomacy side as well”.
She told JIS News, further, that she will continue discussions with the Government on the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which facilitates cooperation between Jamaica and Canada in criminal investigations.
She noted that the agreement allows the two countries “to share information in a much easier way in terms of preventing crime”.
On the matter of Canada’s support in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, High Commissioner Tudakovic said that her country has already contributed approximately US$40 million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for disbursement across the Caribbean.
She noted that Canada has been one of the major donors to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, which is a worldwide initiative aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines.
Additionally, she informed that more than $112 million was disbursed under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).
The CFLI provides support for small-scale, but high-impact projects undertaken by local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that align with the Government of Canada’s international assistance priorities.