Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his St Lucian counterpart Allen Chastanet today signed a maritime boundary agreement, as Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government were ending their 38th annual summit in St George’s, Grenada.
In a statement following the ceremony, Stuart said the accord demonstrated “the commitment to foster closer regional integration and closer cooperation that is still alive with the regional grouping”.
He also pointed out that the twin issues of ocean governance and the blue economy were becoming increasing topical.
“Part and parcel of both endeavours is the ability of a state to exercise jurisdiction unimpeded over the ocean space appertaining to it . . . [and] to be able to agree with one’s neighbours exactly where their jurisdiction begins and yours ends, and vice versa, is thus a matter of the highest import to the proper conduct of the business of the state,” the Prime Minister said.
He also lauded the speed with which the agreement was reached, saying it spoke volumes about the “breadth, the depth and the tenor of regional cooperation and the spirit of unity that have traditionally characterized CARICOM interstate relations”.
Stuart also reminded that CARICOM member states not only exist in close proximity to each other, but also share a history and cultural identity that will facilitate “an enduring bond of kinship among our peoples”.
St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines also signed a maritime agreement today.
Two years ago, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines signed a similar treaty.