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Canada-CARICOM Summit Discusses Key Regional Security Challenges

The just-ended Canada-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit discussed vital security challenges facing the region, focusing on the crisis in Haiti.

Regarding Haiti, the leaders meeting in Ottawa welcomed the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2699 (2023) adopted on 2 October 2023.

According to a joint Communiqué, the leaders emphasised the importance of establishing a strong transitional government of unity to support the role of the multinational security support mission (MSS).

They also fully supported the central role of CARICOM and its Eminent Persons Group (EPG).

The EPG, headed by former Saint Lucia Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, included former Prime Ministers Perry Christie of the Bahamas and Bruce Golding Jamaica.

The group was established to meet all relevant stakeholders to facilitate a Haitian-led solution to the multiple crises facing the country.

The Canada-CARICOM joint Communiqué disclosed that the summit discussed other regional security issues apart from Haiti.

They included illicit weapons, drug trafficking, and surging violent crime.

“In support of this, Canada committed $6.6 million to tackle illegal arms trafficking in Haiti and the wider Caribbean,” the end-of-conference statement said.

Canada also committed $4.6 million to address gender-based violence and women’s rights in the Eastern Caribbean.

Climate change, access to finance, enhancing global peace and security and trade and investment were also on the Canada-CARICOM summit agenda.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Chair of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government, co-chaired the meeting.

The theme was “Strategic Partners for a Resilient Future.”

To mark the occasion of the first Canada-CARICOM Summit held in Canada, leaders launched a Strategic Partnership, establishing a new permanent mechanism for structured high-level engagement and follow-through on joint actions.

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