EU- CARIFORUM MEETING ON POLITICAL DIALOGUEEU CARIFORUM Senior Offi­cials Meet­ing on Polit­i­cal Dia­logue


The Euro­pean Union and CARIFORUM met for the first CARIFORUM-EU Polit­i­cal Dia­logue at Kingston, Jamaica, to dis­cuss issues of inter­est and rel­e­vance to both par­ties with­in the frame­work of the upcom­ing EU-CARIFORUM Sum­mit to take place in Madrid on 17 May 2010.

The Euro­pean Union del­e­ga­tion was led by the cur­rent Span­ish Pres­i­den­cy, act­ing on behalf of the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, in the per­son of Sec­re­tary of State for Latin Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean in the Span­ish Min­istry of For­eign Affairs and Coop­er­a­tion, His Excel­len­cy Juan Pablo de Laigle­sia. The CARIFORUM del­e­ga­tion was led by the Hon­ourable Dr David Est­wick, Min­is­ter of Eco­nom­ic Affairs, Empow­er­ment, Inno­va­tion, Trade, Indus­try and Com­merce of Bar­ba­dos, and includ­ed the Hon­ourable Dr. Ken­neth Baugh, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs and For­eign Trade of Jamaica and His Excel­len­cy, Edwin Car­ring­ton, Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of CARIFORUM.

This polit­i­cal dia­logue rep­re­sents the deter­mi­na­tion of both Par­ties to enhance the rela­tions cur­rent­ly exist­ing between the two regions. It is in keep­ing with the Lima Dec­la­ra­tion of 17th May 2008 which agreed to the estab­lish­ment of mech­a­nisms for a struc­tured and com­pre­hen­sive polit­i­cal dia­logue. It is also com­ple­ment­ed by the pro­vi­sions of Arti­cle 8 of the Coto­nou Part­ner­ship Agree­ment and comes with­in the con­text of a long stand­ing and fruit­ful part­ner­ship which has evolved through the years between both regions. The EU and CARIFORUM have recog­nised the need to inten­si­fy the rela­tion­ship and look for­ward to a suc­cess­ful out­come of the Sum­mit in Madrid.

It is yet anoth­er sym­bol of the deci­sion on the part of the Euro­pean Union and the mem­ber coun­tries of CARIFORUM to strength­en a sta­ble rela­tion­ship, based on part­ner­ship and com­mon val­ues of respect for democ­ra­cy, the rule of law and for human rights for all, in accor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of the Unit­ed Nations Char­ter and inter­na­tion­al law, as well as the pro­mo­tion of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment for their cit­i­zens. It also express­es the desire for a far reach­ing part­ner­ship based on mutu­al coop­er­a­tion in a vari­ety of areas. Sev­er­al oth­er prepara­to­ry meet­ings are being held, includ­ing the Sem­i­nar on the Joint Caribbean – EU Strat­e­gy in Bar­ba­dos, which took place 4 – 5 March 2010 and the first the EPA Coun­cil to take place in the near future.

Both Par­ties exchanged views on forth­com­ing polit­i­cal events, specif­i­cal­ly the upcom­ing EU-CARIFORUM Sum­mit and the wider EU-LAC Sum­mit in Madrid.

There was a fruit­ful exchange of views on hemi­spher­ic issues relat­ed to Latin Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean and the grow­ing coop­er­a­tion tak­ing place between CARIFORUM coun­tries and hemi­spher­ic neigh­bours, specif­i­cal­ly the Rio Group, the Latin Amer­i­can and Caribbean Inte­gra­tion Devel­op­ment Process (CALC), UNASUR and the Latin Amer­i­can Boli­var­i­an Alliance (ALBA).

The Euro­pean Union informed of the ini­tia­tives being spon­sored with respect to human rights and specif­i­cal­ly the mora­to­ri­um on the death penal­ty and the Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court. The CARIFORUM del­e­ga­tion recalled the posi­tion of Mem­ber States at Inter­na­tion­al fora on the death penal­ty and Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court. The CARIFORUM del­e­gates advised their Euro­pean Union part­ners of the chal­lenges being faced by the region with respect to secu­ri­ty mat­ters, espe­cial­ly the chal­lenges con­front­ed with prob­lems such as drug traf­fick­ing and the trade in small arms among oth­er issues.

Oth­er chal­lenges fac­ing the Caribbean were dis­cussed and spe­cial men­tion was made of the glob­al finan­cial cri­sis, region­al food secu­ri­ty, the high depen­dence on ener­gy and prob­lems relat­ed to cli­mate change and nat­ur­al dis­as­ters. In this con­text the idea was moot­ed to hold a bi-region­al EU- CARIFORUM con­fer­ence on cli­mate change ahead of COP 16 in Can­cun. The Euro­pean Union expressed its will­ing­ness to work close­ly with part­ners to find com­mon ground and to pro­vide assis­tance to the Caribbean region.

Both sides exchanged views on the oper­a­tional­i­sa­tion of an effec­tive EU-Caribbean strat­e­gy which includ­ed an analy­sis of the impli­ca­tions of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lis­bon and the rela­tions with the Euro­pean Union. The CARIFORUM del­e­ga­tion pro­vid­ed an update on the inte­gra­tion process and the steps towards sus­tain­able eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment for which the Euro­pean Union com­mit­ted its full sup­port. It was agreed that this polit­i­cal dia­logue and oth­er prepara­to­ry activ­i­ties are the right steps to oth­er glob­al events with the aim of estab­lish­ing a wider Caribbean-Euro­pean Union strat­e­gy that will be draft­ed joint­ly and for which an out­line will be pre­sent­ed to the Heads of State and of Gov­ern­ment at the Sum­mit in Madrid.

The Par­ties also dis­cussed the sit­u­a­tion in Haiti and record­ed the imme­di­ate sup­port of the coun­tries of the Caribbean as well as of the Euro­pean Union to one of the CARIFORUM Mem­ber States that had suf­fered so grave­ly from the effects of the Jan­u­ary 12 earth­quake. The Euro­pean Union out­lined the efforts it had under­tak­en, the prompt response from its Mem­ber States and their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the process towards strong gov­er­nance and a viable recon­struc­tion pro­gramme. The meet­ing high­light­ed the need for the Gov­ern­ment of Haiti to play the lead role in recon­struc­tion. Fur­ther­more, both Par­ties dis­cussed the pos­si­bil­i­ty of work­ing joint­ly to ensure Haiti’s devel­op­ment in the near future. In addi­tion, both Par­ties approved a Dec­la­ra­tion in sup­port of the Gov­ern­ment and peo­ple of Haiti in its recov­ery and recon­struc­tion process. The Dec­la­ra­tion is attached In con­clu­sion, CARIFORUM and EU expressed appre­ci­a­tion to the Gov­ern­ment and peo­ple of Jamaica for the excel­lent orga­ni­za­tion which made the meet­ing a suc­cess.

EU CARIFORUM Senior Offi­cials Meet­ing on Polit­i­cal Dia­logue

CARIFORUM and the Euro­pean Union, in the con­text of the High Lev­el CARIFORUM EU Meet­ing held in Kingston, Jamaica on 23rd March 2010, exchanged views on the Recon­struc­tion and Insti­tu­tion­al Sup­port for Haiti.

– Both sides also agreed that the recon­struc­tion and reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Haiti would also receive pri­ma­ry focus on the agen­da of the CARIFORUMEU Sum­mit to be held in Madrid, Spain in May 2010.

– Both sides agreed on the need for fur­ther coop­er­a­tion between CARIFORUM and the EU and rec­og­nized that there is tan­gi­ble assis­tance that is still nec­es­sary in the short, medi­um and long term to shore up the coura­geous attempts being made by Haiti to cope with the dev­as­ta­tion caused by the earth­quake of 12th Jan­u­ary 2010. In this regard, both sides looked for­ward to broad par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Inter­na­tion­al Donor Con­fer­ence sched­uled to be held in New York on 31st March 2010 where it is antic­i­pat­ed that the Strate­gic Plan for the Recon­struc­tion of Haiti will be pre­sent­ed and pledges will be made.

– Both sides rec­og­nized that the strat­e­gy and pro­grammes for Haiti’s recon­struc­tion must take into account, in accor­dance with the uni­ver­sal­ly rec­og­nized prin­ci­ples of own­er­ship, effi­cien­cy and aid effec­tive­ness, the vision and pri­or­i­ties of the Gov­ern­ment of Haiti, in accor­dance with respect for the sov­er­eign­ty of Haiti and the dig­ni­ty of the Hait­ian peo­ple.

– They encour­aged the con­tin­ued sup­port of CARIFORUM, the EU and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty as a whole in the recov­ery and recon­struc­tion efforts that are ongo­ing in Haiti in order to achieve sta­bil­i­ty, long-term secu­ri­ty and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in that coun­try.

– They not­ed that the response of the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mu­ni­ty, and par­tic­u­lar­ly that of the Latin Amer­i­can and Caribbean coun­tries and that of the EU, has been com­mend­able. They recog­nised that the great chal­lenge is to sus­tain the effort of recon­struc­tion in the medi­um to long run, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with all actors who are con­tribut­ing to Haiti’s sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in a spir­it of sol­i­dar­i­ty and good­will.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Coun­cil