Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government and Foreign Ministers took full advantage of the just concluded 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen diplomatic relations with members the global community.
They had a fruitful engagement with United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on the Community’s priorities and developments in the UN, in a final exchange of views and ideas prior to him demitting office in December 2016. The UN SG lauded CARICOM’s strong partnership and thanked CARICOM Member States for their continued leadership in climate change and for their efforts to implement the 2030 sustainable development agenda. CARICOM noted the resource and capacity constraints in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Community had successful meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Morocco in an effort to forge new relations and deepen existing ties to support regional development. In this regard, discussions were held with a representative from the Italian Ministry of the Environment regarding the implementation of an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CARICOM Member States, and with senior UN officials to discuss ongoing cooperation in security and elections.
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque along with Assistant Secretary-General of the Directorate of Foreign and Community Relations, Ambassador Colin Granderson and other representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat held productive discussions the President of Costa Rica, H.E. Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera. A meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden culminated with the signing of a technical assistance MOU, as did discussions between Secretary-General LaRocque and the Commissioner of the International Exhibition EXPO-2017, Mr. Rapil Zhoshybayev. The parties signed an Agreement for Participation of CARICOM, which opens on 10 June 2017 for three months in Kazakhstan under the theme “Future Energy.”