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CARICOM and Brazil pledge to Deepen Cooperation

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater, Georgetown, Guyana) – CARICOM and Brazil have pledged to deepen cooperation as they see immense potential for enhancing mutually beneficial relations.

In this regard, they committed to hosting the first meeting of the CARICOM-Brazil Joint Commission in 2024 to rationalise the modalities for deeper collaboration.

The benefits of enhanced CARICOM-Brazil relations were underscored at the recent engagement with H.E. Luiz Inacio Lula DaSilva, President of Brazil, during the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Guyana Marriot in late February.

H.E. Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Chair of the Conference and President of Guyana, expressed the Community’s interest in deepening engagement with Brazil on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as disaster preparedness.

CARICOM Brazil Joint Commission

“To further strengthen our ties and operationalise this potential, we are particularly pleased to announce our intention to operationalise the CARICOM Brazil joint Commission with its first meeting in 2024,” President Ali announced.

He explained that the joint commission mechanism emanated from the technical cooperation agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on technical cooperation signed between CARICOM and Brazil in 2010.

“With this platform of structured dialogue in place, we have a unique opportunity to build a stronger future together. Indeed, through regular dialogue and joint projects, we can force a more robust and mutually beneficial partnership,” he added.

Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

The CARICOM Chairman told President Lula that the small, vulnerable states of the Community grappled with distinct challenges resulting from climate change, including natural disasters such as hurricanes. In this context, President Ali said Brazil’s expertise in disaster risk management will be valuable to the Region.

As CARICOM advanced efforts to meet the goal of a 25 percent reduction of food imports into the Region by 2025, President Ali said CARICOM could also benefit from Brazil’s capacity in agricultural food production and through investments in the Community’s economic development.

The Chair highlighted CARICOM’s efforts to build human resource capacity to meet the regional economy’s future requirements and noted that the Community sees value in collaborating with Brazil in this regard and in renewable energy.

Strengthening Connections

President Lula told the Conference that CARICOM and Brazil could have a robust international presence.

“We see the bloc as a promising economic partner and a strategic political interlocutor,” he said.

President Lula said one of the biggest obstacles to deepening CARICOM-Brazil relations was the lack of land, sea, or air connections. He referenced Barbados as a microcosm of this reality.

“Barbados has 27 weekly flights to the UK and the US but none to Brazil,” the Brazilian President stated before articulating his government’s desire to “pave” a way to the Caribbean through the Guiana Shield, which covers Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.

He added, “We want to pave our way to the Caribbean in a quite literal sense. We will open corridors capable of meeting supply demands and strengthening regional food security.”

The Brazilian President invited CARICOM countries to join the global alliance against hunger and poverty, which the Brazilian G20 Chairmanship will launch.

Mission 1.5

On climate change, President Lula said the loss and damage fund established at COP28 in Dubai was “a historic achievement,” but added that the fight against climate change will not end until there was more funding for adaptation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Brazil is hosting the 30th Meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP30), and the President said Brazil “wants to work for SIDS.”

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is categorical about limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees.

We need to join forces to move forward in our mission 1.5, accelerating the implementation of commitments already made and adapting more ambitious goals in 2025,” he said.

South-South Cooperation

During the engagement, President Ali lauded the rich history of south-south cooperation between CARICOM and Brazil. He also thanked Guyana’s south-southwestern neighbour for the key role it played in the first meeting of the Guyana-Venezuela Joint Commission in January in Brasilia.

“We are united not only by geography but also by our common desire to build a prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable future for our people. In that spirit, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to you for your leadership and the instrumental role played by Brazil in hosting and facilitating the first meeting of the Guyana Venezuela Joint Commission on the 25th of January in Brasilia. We continue to strive to maintain Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace and ensure continued respect for international law in the resolution of all disputes.”

CARICOM-Brazil Summit

CARICOM and Brazil met at the heads of government level in April 2010 in Brasilia at the first CARICOM-Brazil Summit.

That Summit, co-chaired by President Lula and Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, adopted the Declaration of Brasilia, which articulated the desire for closer collaboration and cooperation between the two parties.

The close ties between CARICOM and Brazil have been manifested through Brazil’s establishment of embassies in 14 CARICOM states, the establishment of embassies in Brazil by several CARICOM states, technical assistance from Brazil to CARICOM in HIV-AIDS programmes training, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as the provision of anti-retroviral drugs, among other areas.

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