On Wednesday the 18th of May, 2022 the Foreign Ministers of the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM), met at the Twenty-Fifth Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) held in a hybrid format, to discuss key issues of mutual interest including climate change, financing for development, bilateral and multilateral and hemispheric relations.
Saint Lucia was represented by Hon. Alva Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs, and by Her Excellency Elma Gene Isaac, Ambassador of Saint Lucia to CARICOM and OECS.
In relation to multilateral and hemispheric relations, the COFCOR discussed ongoing matters within such organisations as the Organisation of American States, the Commonwealth, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the United Nations (UN).
The COFCOR agreed to establish a mechanism to facilitate consultation and collaboration between the states of Africa and CARICOM and ensure our views and interest are represented in the UN Security Council.
Ministers further acknowledged the need for inclusivity at the Summit of the Americas, the main theme of which is “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future”.
In discussing developments in relations with traditional partners such as the United States, Canada, Cuba, and the African States, the COFCOR emphasized the importance of deepening relations and actioning the commitments which were given by both Regions during the CARICOM-Africa Summit held in September 2021.
The Meeting noted the appointment of Dr. June Soomer of Saint Lucia and Ms. Gaynel Diana Curry of The Bahamas to the United Nations Permanent Forum for Persons of African Descent.
On the matter of climate change, the COFCOR agreed to work towards ensuring that the global community meets expressed commitments, particularly, that maintaining global warming below 1.5°C and scaling up climate finance flows to Small Island Developing States.
Foreign Ministers discussed the financing gap which has heightened due to the COVID19 pandemic and agreed to provide the highest level of political support and advocacy on graduation, access to concessional financing, and the need for inclusive financial instruments.
Pursuant to a decision of the Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM held in Belize in March 2022, the inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Expo were held in Guyana from the 19th to 21st of May, 2022.
The Forum and Expo is part of the Community’s agenda to achieve the reduction of the Region’s food import bill by 25 percent by 2025 and to increase financial support towards the attainment of this objective.
Source: Regional Integration Unit