In his feature address at the official opening of the 14th meeting of the CARICOM Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in St Kitts, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas called for renewal and enhancement of the Caribbean’s foreign policy coordination. He underlined the challenges that the Caribbean faces and he warned against increasing xenophobia.
Delivering the Douglas said the input and recommendations of COFCOR is key and there must be an ongoing examination of the principles, practices, and mechanisms in the coordination of the approach to foreign policy, in the same way that there needs to be a review of the mechanisms by which the region engage third countries and groups of countries. He stressed that “As we do so, we must pay particular attention to our bilateral relations, framework agreements including memoranda of understanding and co-operation agreements; the regular scheduling of high-level meetings; the joint commission of similar mechanisms; and the accreditation of plenipotentiary representatives.”
St Kitts and Nevis PM added that “There is the matter of global corporate attempts—not always obvious or openly admitted—to secure, and place in private hands, fresh water sources from every continent—the ‘oil’ of the twenty-first century. There is the issue of illegal drugs and weapons. There is global warming. All of these challenges demand exactly what we have already committed ourselves to: serious introspection and self-analysis as a region, so that we would be able to effectively chart the type of course that we must, in order to preserve the environmental, socio-political, and economic integrity of both our individual member states, and our broader Caribbean community.”
[. . .] He told the meeting that the advantages of establishing mutually beneficial, mutually respectful relations with like-minded nations in both the industrialized and the non-industrialized world can be significant, “as we strive to develop our resources; preserve the security of the Community; and expand our economic space.”
“In this era of rapid technological changes, our relations with nations with which we can partner as we strive to develop our own technological capabilities can also be significantly advanced by the coordinated regional foreign policy orientation of which we often speak – as are the objectives, positions, and initiatives that we, as a region, have already identified as being key to our prosperity, stability, human resource development, and national security,” said Douglas, who called for a pursuit of these goals to shape and guide both the bilateral as well as the multilateral relations.
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