By Benjamin Flowers
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for the first time ever, has an ambassador to the Vatican City.
CARICOM and the Vatican began their new era of diplomatic relations on July 30. Archbishop Nicolas Girasoli, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Holy See, presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque.
LaRocque, noted that Pope Francis’ emphasis on issues such as social inclusion, climate change and peace, resonates with the principle of CARICOM.
LaRocque also spoke to Girasoli, about the possibility of the Vatican’s intervention to help find a solution to the ongoing crisis between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which will see thousands of residents in the Dominican Republic deported to Haiti.
He emphasized that both countries have strong ties with the Catholic Church and that the Vatican could play a similar role as it did in bringing the long-standing diplomatic s break-up between the United States and Cuba to an end.
Girasoli emphasized that the opening of diplomatic relations affirms the Holy See’s commitment to work with the region and contribute to its development.
With an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842, the Vatican is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world, by both area and population.
The nation is run by the Pope and the Holy See, which is the equivalent of its government. Apart from having diplomatic relations with various countries, the Vatican is also a non-voting member of the United Nations.