Canada and Caribbean countries hold first Foreign Ministers’ Group Meeting
The Foreign Ministers of CARICOM and Canada met virtually on Friday 19 February 2021, with the discussions centered on key issues of mutual interest including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, and climate resilience.
Friday’s meeting was cochaired by Hon Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, and Hon Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration of Belize and incoming Chairman for the CARICOM Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR)
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to take a heavy toll on citizens, economies and livelihoods, the Ministers examined areas for collaboration in response and recovery, as well as the issue of equitable access to vaccines. The Ministers also deliberated on rebuilding inclusive economies and promoting CANADA-CARICOM trade.
They are also expected to discuss action needed to fight climate change and work towards a cleaner, greener, bluer world in keeping with the Paris Agreement commitments and the Sustainable Development goals.
This forum serves as a platform for Canada and Caribbean partners to discuss shared priorities and opportunities for coordinated action.
Minister Garneau affirmed Canada’s strong support for the COVAX facility, and Canada’s commitment to continue encouraging others to provide additional support needed by this key multilateral partnership to ensure equitable access to vaccines globally. Minister Garneau also announced the following initiatives to deepen the Canada-CARICOM partnership:
- an $81.41-million pledge for the replenishment of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Special Development Fund
- a commitment of $9-million to the World Food Program to support logistics and tackle food insecurity
Canada and Caribbean countries share deep and long-standing friendships based on people-to-people ties, shared political values, dynamic trade relations and a commitment to inclusive economic growth and climate resilience.