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JOINT DECLARATION ISSUED ON THE OCCASION OF THE SECOND CARICOM-SICA SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT, 12 MAY 2007, BELIZE CITY, BELIZE


Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings | 05 January 2007 | Release Ref #: 107_07.jsp | 921

    We, the Heads of State and Government and their representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) (hereinafter called the Parties) meeting in Belize City, Belize on the 12th of May 2007 on the occasion of the Second CARICOM-SICA Summit.

    Considering the objectives and commitments assumed by the Parties at, the historic, First CARICOM- SICA Summit, held on 5th February 2002 in Belize City.

    Reiterating our firm commitment and adherence to the values and principles of democracy, peace, liberty, respect for human rights, sustainable development, cooperation among States, dialogue, friendly relations and the peaceful solution of controversies.

    Recognizing the need for cooperation to more efficiently promote the sustainable development of our countries and our meaningful participation in the global economy under the best conditions

    Recalling that the Ministerial Conferences of the member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), as well as other complementary mechanisms, have led to initiatives and concrete actions for the strengthening of friendly relations and cooperation among our States.

    Recalling also that the meetings between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Economy and Foreign Trade convened in Belize in February of 2007, have resulted in important exchanges and discussion geared towards strengthening the political dialogue and cooperation, including trade, between the parties.

    Noting that internal and external factors have had a significant impact on the development and economies of the countries of the Caribbean and Central America, transforming their political, economic and social landscape

    Reaffirming that the signing of the Plan of Action between the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) constitutes an important mechanism that will further strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation that have existed between both regions given that it includes diverse areas of cooperation such as: Human Development, Health, Housing, Poverty Eradication, Environment and Disaster Mitigation, Foreign Policy Coordination, Foreign Trade and Investment, Crime and Security, the Fight Against Corruption, Air Transportation and Tourism, and Cultural Exchanges.

    AGREE:

    1. To recognize that the Plan of Action constitutes an important mechanism to promote actions and proposals that will lead to fulfilling the objectives of strengthening those relations between the countries of CARICOM and SICA, to achieve unity within the present regional and international realities.

    2. To express our satisfaction for the CARICOM-SICA meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Belize City on 22nd February 2007, where the relations between both parties as well as issues of regional and international nature were discussed.

    3. To highlight the discussions and agreements reached during the meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Trade of CARICOM and the Ministers of the Economy and Foreign Trade of SICA, held on 22 and 23 February 2007.

    4. To convey through their Ministers to the relevant officials instructions to initiate discussions for a Free Trade Agreement between CARICOM and SICA building on the CARICOM-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement and recommit to commence the required negotiations to formalize trade relations among our countries.

    5. To commit to a broader vision of CARICOM-SICA relations which would include cooperation and the development of linkages in the areas of economic, social and cultural issues, energy, communications, prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, sustainable development, security, and democratic governance.

    6. To reiterate our commitment to create favourable conditions which will stimulate trade and promote direct investment between our two regions.

    7. To reaffirm the interest of our countries in cooperating to develop air and maritime transportation services through the strengthening of the legal framework of the two regions, to promote social and economic links.

    8. To instruct the Secretaries General of CARICOM and SICA to undertake the necessary coordination leading to the convening of a High Level Meeting on the Environment and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, in Honduras, in order to discuss and analyze a proposal for a joint project in both regions.

    9. To promote joint actions in the management, prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, through the relevant bodies established within the framework of CARICOM and SICA that will develop into closer collaboration and the presentation of proposals for implementation in this area.

    10. To intensify efforts to combat and mitigate the potentially devastating impact of climate change on the countries of both regions, to collaborate on proposals that may be incorporated in the multilateral regime presently being negotiated and to support the proposal that, in accordance with UNGA Resolution 61/16, the Economic and Social Council should convene a special session at the level of Foreign Ministers in the margins of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2007.

    11. To reiterate our interest in strengthening cooperation in health, particularly through the exchange of experiences in addressing chronic non-communicable diseases and programmes on HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria that will enable us to confront these pandemics.

    12. To reaffirm our interest in increasing and developing political consultations in regional, hemispheric and international fora in an effort to identify areas of consensus to promote joint positions and coordinate on issues of mutual interest, including support for candidatures to regional and international organizations.

    13. To strengthen cooperation between CARICOM and SICA on the fight against organized crime, including illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, drug trafficking, among others, through the exchange of information and the establishment of mechanisms that will strengthen such cooperation.

    14. To condemn all acts of terrorism, reject impunity and promote cooperation to prevent and combat them according to the commitments assumed in the United Nations Organization (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

    15. To promote cooperation between CARICOM and SICA in the field of regional energy security through the diversification of energy sources as well as energy conservation, taking into account national strategies on sustainable development and forestry management by the States Parties, strategic alliances, harmonization of regional energy policies and the strengthening of the regional energy sector.

    16. To reiterate the commitment of our Governments in the fight against corruption and impunity and in this regard implement the commitments adopted during the 12th International Anticorruption Conference held in Guatemala City in November 2006.

    17. To welcome the establishment of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Caribbean Sea Commission and underline the importance of the work of the Commission to the two regions, in particular in relation to the implementation of the UNGA Resolution 61/197 entitled “Towards the Sustainable Development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations”

    18. To instruct the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Secretaries General of CARICOM and SICA to carry out the agreements adopted at this Second Summit, to fulfill the objectives contained within the CARICOM-SICA Plan of Action, as well as strengthen intersectoral exchanges.

    19. To meet every two years, alternating the venue between CARICOM and SICA, preceded by Ministerial Meetings.

    20. To convene the III CARICOM - SICA Summit in Nicaragua on the 22-23 May 2009.

    The Heads of State and Government and their representatives expressed their appreciation to the Government of Belize for the hospitality and for the success of the Summit.


     

     

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