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CARICOM is all set for a big meeting on Foreign Policy this month as Dominica takes over as Chair

Senior foreign affairs officials met via video conference anchored at the CARICOM HQ to prepare for the meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations scheduled for 23-24 May in Roseau, Dominica.

In setting the tone for the meeting, Assistant Secretary-General for Foreign and Community Relations, Ms. Elizabeth Solomon stated,

“As we work to finalise the items for the consideration of Ministers at next month’s meeting, we must acknowledge the challenging international environment marked by increased instability and threat to undermine international law and the multilateral system.”

This, she said, underscores the importance of foreign policy coordination for CARICOM Member States, as mandated by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

“As a collective of Small Island Developing States, we must continue to recognise that our challenges are more easily maneuvered with joint effort, and the unity of our voices strengthens our resolve.

She said the meeting in Roseau will allow the Community to take stock of its relations with traditional and emerging partners and settle its positions on issues on the regional and international agenda.

Ms. Solomon commended Jamaica’s stewardship of COFCOR over the past year, which resulted in high-level engagements with third states and advanced the Community’s efforts, most notably in support of Haiti.

This should be an interesting meeting as the dates coincided with the dates when, by some estimates, Kenyan troops are scheduled to arrive in Haiti. Some members of CARICOM have pledged support for a UN-backed force to get boots on the ground to stabilize Haiti, itself a CARICOM member.

The Meeting was chaired by Barbara Dailey, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Dominica, which assumes the chair of COFCOR from Jamaica when the meeting of foreign ministers convenes later this month.