Published On: Fri, Jan 25th, 2013

CARICOM Leaders Head for CELAC Summits

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – Heads of Government, Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be in Santiago, Chile this weekend to take part in two Summit Meetings.

The first Summit of the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States (CELAC) and the First Summit of CELAC and the European Union (EU) take place from 26-28 January, with the CELAC-EU Summit preceding the other. The CELAC-EU meeting replaces the EU-Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC) Meetings.

The CELAC Summit is expected to adopt the Santiago Action Plan among a raft of documents and statements on a number of regional and global issues. The Plan is aimed at strengthening and consolidating Latin American and Caribbean Cooperation to assist in economic development and South-South cooperation. It will also promote the exchange of successful policies in public policy, examine the complementary areas between regional and sub-regional mechanisms and strengthen intra-regional dialogue.

The Plan includes a commitment to contribute to Haiti’s development efforts as well as support for the establishment of a Working Group on Regional Cooperation that will coordinate the actions taken in the Region and cooperation on such issues as the fight against drugs and drug trafficking; the fight against transnational organized crime in all forms; the promotion of co-ordinated action to prevent and, where appropriate, address the effects of external shocks and promote sustainable regional development.

The undertaking to work together on some international political issues including advocacy for the comprehensive reform of the United Nations system; advocacy for the strengthening of the institutional framework of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20); promotion of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals and the beginning of a process of reflection on the priorities of the region in the post-2015 development agenda also forms part of the Plan.

The Grouping plans to maintain a strong and influential regional voice in respect of equitable representation of all member countries in International Financial Institutions

On 26 and 27 January, the CELAC-EU Summit will follow the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 25 January 2013 and is being projected as a ‘new dialogue’ which will renew and deepen the strategic partnership already enjoyed between the parties.

The Summit is being convened under the theme “Alliance for Sustainable Development: Promoting Investments of Social and Environmental Quality”.  CARICOM Member States will emphasise the importance of special attention to the vulnerabilities of small island developing states.

The priority of the theme envisages investment in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development as key to protecting the environment while achieving sustained economic growth, social equity and inclusion.

Among key measures identified to achieve these objectives are the promotion of the green economy, increased and diversified bi-regional investments, improved integration, as well as the promotion of corporate social responsibility and socially responsible business practices.

Training, particularly for vulnerable groups, strengthened scientific and technological capacities, increased focus on entrepreneurship, small and medium enterprises, stronger social services and energy, communication and transport infrastructures are also key areas.

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