Published On: Wed, Jan 30th, 2013

Caribbean and EU leaders attending the first CELAC – EU Summit in Santiago de Chile held a CARIFORUM – EU High-Level Meeting on January 26th, 2013

Participating from the EU side were President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso.    Participating from the Caribbean side were: President Michel Martelly (Haiti), Prime Minister Kenny Anthony (St. Lucia), Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer (Antigua and Barbuda), Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), accompanied by Hon. Carlos Morales Troncoso, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dominican Republic), Hon. Ryan Pinder, Minister of Financial Services (Bahamas), Sen. The Hon. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (Barbados), Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Belize), Sen. Alvin Bernard, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dominica), Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Guyana), Sen. The Hon. A.J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (Jamaica), Dr. The Honourable Winston G. Lackin, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Suriname), The Hon. Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Trinidad & Tobago),  Mr. Ennio Rodriguez, Director of Foreign Affairs (Cuba).

Also present were, H.E. Amb. Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General CARICOM/CARIFORUM, and  Dr. Len Ishmael, Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The Leaders welcomed the adoption of the Joint Caribbean EU Partnership Strategy and confirmed their commitment to the further enhancement of Caribbean - EU relations, which are based on historical ties, shared values and respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

While taking note of the challenges affecting their regions, they agreed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new strategy to jointly promote regional integration and cooperation for sustainable development and to work together on effective responses to global challenges, including natural disasters, climate change and crime and security, and to further strengthen their efforts for the reconstruction of Haiti.

The Leaders also discussed a number of issues relating to CARIFORUM – EU relations including development cooperation and the EU's Agenda for Change, as well as investment and implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

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