Dominica newly appointed chair of CARICOM Foreign Ministers Council

Dominica newly appointed chair of  CARICOM Foreign Ministers Council


CARICOM Secretary General Dr. Carla Barnett, CARICOM ministers with responsibility for foreign af-fairs and representatives of ministers at the 27th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations COFCOR at the State House Conference Centre, Roseau, Dominica.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana--Dominica has assumed the chairmanship of the Caribbean Community CARICOM Council for Foreign and Community Relations COFCOR, receiving the baton from Jamaica at the 27th Meeting of COFCOR in Roseau, Dominica, according to a press release from the CARICOM Secretariat.

Ministers of foreign affairs met from May 23 to 24 over a packed agenda covering bilateral, multi-lateral, hemispheric and intra-CARICOM relations; climate change; candidatures; and border issues. Dr. Vince Henderson, Dominica’s Foreign Affairs Minister chaired the meeting.

CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett, in her remarks during the opening, thanked Jamai-ca’s Foreign Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith for her service to the Community over the past year, in her role as Chair of COFCOR.

Dr. Barnett urged CARICOM foreign ministers to continue the work toward actionable outcomes to advance CARICOM’s collective interests, the release states.

This is particularly critical as the global context becomes increasingly challenged with threats to multilateralism, disregard for international law, and increased instability in many parts of the world, she said.

“As small island and low-lying coastal developing states, we are more vulnerable to these interna-tional fluctuations, which continue to adversely affect our economies, environments and societies,” Dr. Barnett stated, adding that this reality becomes critical as the Caribbean approaches another hur-ricane season.

Against this backdrop the secretary general noted, “Climate resilience cannot be realised without affordable resources necessary for infrastructural development. In our bilateral and joint engage-ments, we must continue, as a collective, to reinforce the urgency of reform of the global financial architecture, as proposed in the Bridgetown Initiative, to facilitate increased access to resources, at costs that we can bear, to address the impact of climate change on our economies and societies.”

She said that the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), which is underway in Antigua and Barbuda, presents a significant opportunity for CARICOM Member States to engage with international partners, including SIDS outside the Community, to establish a common agenda regarding climate change and financing for development, according to the release.

Describing CARICOM’s relations with non-traditional partners in the Middle East as holding “great potential”, the secretary general said the Community has demonstrated its commitment to diplomacy and multilateralism.

This is evident in its call for the peaceful resolution of the war on Gaza and the recognition of the State of Palestine by CARICOM Member States, Dr. Barnett said.

“This commitment to diplomacy is integral to the reputation of integrity that CARICOM has estab-lished on the international stage. Undoubtedly, this reputation has, in part, propelled significant in-terest by Third States in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and beyond, to deepen relations with CARICOM Member States, through Associate Membership of the Community,” she noted.

Encouraging the COFCOR to continue its work to provide foreign policy guidance to the Community, the secretary general said, “Let us remain cognisant of what we can achieve together to enhance the development of our societies and the quality of life of the people of the Caribbean Community.”

Senator Johnson Smith in her remarks recalled the robust engagements the Council facilitated with international, regional and bilateral partners, the release states.

These engagements included the first in-person meeting since 2016 between the Region and the United Kingdom (UK) in the 11th UK-Caribbean Forum last May. On the sidelines of the Forum, CARICOM and the UK signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a Consultation Mecha-nism to facilitate greater cooperation.

The outgoing chair also highlighted strengthening relations with other partners including Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States, as well as regional organisations such as Central American Integration System SICA and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States CELAC.

She said that intra-regionally priority focus was on “the multifaceted situation impacting our fellow CARICOM Member State Haiti.”

“At both the Conference of Heads and COFCOR levels, we continue to support unabated efforts, through the CARICOM Good Offices initiative, towards peace, stability and development in Haiti,” Senator Johnson Smith told her colleagues, underscoring the need for continued support to CARICOM’s French-speaking Member State.

During his address as the new Chair, Dr. Henderson said the matters before foreign ministers re-flected the complex realities that the Region must navigate in the global landscape, according to the release.

“Our collective voice and shared purpose are crucial as COFCOR undertakes its work to provide policy guidance in advancing our shared vision and development goals,” the foreign minister stated.

In this regard, he said that CARICOM’s increased engagement with emerging partners, including countries in the Middle East, underscores the Community’s enduring commitment to maximising op-portunities for development.

This was demonstrated as foreign ministers engaged with Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Af-fairs, Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi, during the meeting, the release states. Dr. Henderson said the en-gagement reflected COFCOR’s belief in diplomatic cooperation and shared priorities for growth.

“As foreign ministers, we must promote an environment that enables increased opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and strategic partnership,” he said, underscoring the importance of South-South cooperation.

The Daily Herald

Copyright © 2020 All copyrights on articles and/or content of The Caribbean Herald N.V. dba The Daily Herald are reserved.

Without permission of The Daily Herald no copyrighted content may be used by anyone.

Comodo SSL

Hosted by

© 2024 The Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.