IV EU-CARIFORUM Summit – Joint Communiqué

The Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and the European Union (EU), represented by the President of the European Council Mr Herman Van Rompuy and Mr José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, with the participation of Mr José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of the Government of Spain and President in turn of the Council of the European Union, held their IV Summit in Madrid, Spain on 17 May 2010, on the occasion of the VI Summit of Heads of State and Government of the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. They discussed, a series of issues relating to CARIFORUM-EU relations both in the wider ACP-EU context as well as in the framework of the ongoing bi-regional cooperation. While taking note of some of the challenges affecting their regions, they agreed to take advantage of opportunities to jointly develop a new partnership strategy, promote regional integration and cooperation for sustainable development and develop effective responses to climate change and natural disasters, including reconstruction of Haiti.

1. The Heads of State and Government confirmed the strength of the current biregional partnership which is based on historical ties and respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

2. The Heads of State and Government commended the new impetus given to the CARIFORUM-EU partnership by the launching of the high level political dialogue in Kingston in March, 2010. They also welcomed the initial joint stakeholders’ consultations in Barbados, and noted the importance of the deliberations in those fora on a wide range of topics related to the CARIFORUMEU relations, as a means to inform the ensuing dialogue at Summit level in Madrid.

3. The Heads of State and Government exchanged views on the visions for future partnership, and agreed to work together towards the adoption of the Joint Caribbean EU Strategy to underpin future relations. They agreed that the Joint Strategy must continue to be underpinned by the values that they share and must reflect their commitment to the UN Charter, respect of universal human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Heads of State and Government validated the attached outline of the strategy which emphasizes the will to strengthen their political partnership and work together to improve the quality of life of all their peoples.

4. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the progress achieved to date in the CARICOM integration process and other ongoing sub-regional integration and cooperation processes, and they reaffirmed their commitment to increasing progress and co-operation on this issue. They exchanged views on ongoing priorities including the establishment of a Caribbean Infrastructure Trust Fund, advancing EPA implementation and other ways to address the current traderelated, economic and social challenges facing the Caribbean region, as well as opportunities for CARIFORUM-EU cooperation on the use of Innovation and Technology, including in the pursuit of Food Security in the Caribbean region. They also welcomed the holding of the inaugural meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM – EU Council under the EPA in the margins of the Summit.

5. The Heads of State and Government agreed that the challenge of Climate Change and the loss of biodiversity are of particular relevance to the wider Caribbean Region and agreed on the need to increase cooperation in that field. They recognize the need for stronger action, and long term cooperation that should include perspectives on safe and sustainable development, climate-safe paths and reduced climate change vulnerabilities. Following COP 15 in Copenhagen, the parties desire to reach an ambitious, fair and comprehensive agreement at the Cancun climate Summit. They confirmed the organisation of a high level EUCaribbean conference on climate change ahead of Cancun to be hosted by the European Commission.

6. The Heads of State and Government recognized the particular vulnerability of the wider Caribbean Basin to natural disasters, the increased occurrence and severity of these phenomena as well as the fact that the Caribbean has been internationally regarded as being among those most affected by the impact of climate change and consequential natural disasters.

7. The Heads of State and Government reconfirmed their commitment to the reconstruction of Haiti following the devastating earthquake of 12th January 2010. In that regard they agreed to fully support the implementation of the Haitian Government’s Action Plan for National Recovery and Development, which was endorsed at the UN International Donors Conference on Haiti, Held in New York on 31 March 2010.

8. The Heads of State and Government underlined the benefit of a continuous and constructive dialogue between the two regions and agreed to meet again on the occasion of the VII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean in XXX in 2012 or at any earlier date should developments in their relations indicate the pertinence of such a meeting.

Council of the European Union