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CARICOM Declaration on the International Development Agenda Post 2015

Reaffirming that Human and Social Development has been established as the first pillar of the Caribbean Community.

Conscious of the collective actions which have in the past fuelled regional integration, the goal of which is to enhance the well-being of the citizens of our countries.

Recalling the major inter-sectoral programmes undertaken by the Ministerial Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and the Ministerial Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which coordinates on-going national efforts to address the social, economic and environmental  challenges of its people.

Cognisant of the on-going global processes, particularly those set out in the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) to elaborate a post 2015 development agenda with a renewed commitment to an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and the mainstreaming of sustainable development at all levels.

Recalling the outcome document of the Special Event to Follow up Efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the renewed commitment to intensify all efforts to achieve the MDGs by 2015 and the determination “to craft a strong post 2015 development agenda that will build on the foundations laid by the Millennium Development Goals, complete the unfinished business and respond to new challenges”.

Recalling also the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, in which the international community recognised the unique and particular challenges and needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and committed to the success of the Third International Conference on SIDS to take place in Apia, Samoa.

Fully aware of the opportunities and challenges for CARICOM Member States in the context of the elaboration and implementation of a post 2015 development agenda and of efforts to deepen and accelerate regional integration in pursuit of sustainable development.

We declare:

•         that the international development agenda must be inter-governmentally determined and agreed;

•         that the eradication of poverty must remain the core objective and overarching preoccupation of the international development agenda;

•         that the development agenda must be premised on promoting the welfare and well-being of all people;

•         that the development agenda should promote and mainstream sustainable development and the balanced integration of its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – at all levels;

•         that the unique and particular vulnerabilities and challenges of small island developing states (SIDS) must remain a priority in the development agenda;

•         that the development agenda should build on the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) toward a single comprehensive and integrated agenda that is responsive to the diverse development realities with which individual countries and regions are confronted;

•         that the persistent and emerging challenges of climate change, energy security, water security, sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition, employment, economic growth and diversification, debt sustainability, health (addressing both communicable and non-communicable diseases), gender equality and the empowerment of women, challenges facing youth and children, crime and security, and governance  should be featured in the development agenda in order to address these and other critical  challenges that constrain the development prospects and performance of CARICOM Member States;

•         that the development agenda should incorporate broader measures of progress to complement Gross Domestic Product, as GDP alone is an inadequate measure of the state of development in many economies; we encourage on-going efforts to devise appropriate approaches and instruments to that end;

•         that emphasis must be placed on ensuring that definitive arrangements, including effective partnerships, are made to provide adequate financial and other resources, trade and market access, technology transfer and capacity building, particularly in the area of data collection and statistical analysis and improving resilience to the effects of climate change, to assist developing countries to implement the post 2015 development agenda;

•         that greater emphasis must be placed on  the development of monitoring, evaluation and accountability frameworks to guarantee the implementation of commitments made by all actors;

•         that the fostering of a comprehensive global policy environment more conducive to the achievement of development objectives is an absolute imperative. Greater coherence across the trade, finance, environment and social policies is essential in this regard. Decisive progress in the Doha Development Round, the democratisation of global economic governance, and ambitious action on climate change are important requirements in the creation of such an environment;

•         that institutional arrangements should foster and complement the effective implementation of the development agenda and efforts should be pursued to ensure their coherence through appropriate reform and strengthening;

•         that all relevant stakeholders, such as governments, civil society, the private sector, and intergovernmental organisations, must be included in the process of determining and advancing the post 2015 development agenda to ensure more dynamic partnerships at all levels.


At the Thirty-Fifth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CARICOM Heads of Government were pleased to receive The Most Excellent Mariano Rajoy Brey, Prime Minister of Spain, as a Special Guest.  Following very fruitful deliberations, the Heads of Government of CARICOM and of Spain agreed to issue the following Joint Statement:

We, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community and Spain acknowledge with satisfaction the fifteen year milestone of the formalisation of relations between CARICOM and Spain which was inaugurated by the conclusion, in Trinidad and Tobago, in July 1999, of the Scientific and Technical Cooperation Agreement, clearly reflecting both Parties’ commitment to maintaining a strategic long-term partnership.

We pledge to further strengthen the stable, friendly and strategic partnership between our countries which is based on the common values of respect for the principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights, as well as the promotion of sustainable development.  We will ensure that these values as well as a fundamental recognition of the special circumstances and needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and of Small Highly Indebted Vulnerable Middle Income Countries (SHIVMICS) continue to underpin the political, economic, cultural and development relations that are the substance of our relationship.

Going forward we agree to give priority to:

(i)        Advancing the fight against poverty, the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity and the environment in general;

(ii)       Working together to address the negative impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) including through the swift capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund.  CARICOM Member States thank Spain for its contributions to the development of SIDSnet and its major financial contribution to the organisation of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in September 2014;

(iii)      Advocating for a multilateral rules-based system of international trade; one that includes special and differential treatment for small vulnerable economies, and that facilitates their integration into the global economy;

(iv)      Ensuring that the specific needs and vulnerabilities of Middle Income Countries (MICS) are taken into account on the part of the different international and cooperation agencies, including the criteria for classification as MICS;

(v)       Working to achieve a satisfactory solution to issues that are especially sensitive for CARICOM countries, particularly the diversification of the EU’s eligibility criteria for CARICOM Member States’ access to the 11th  EDF Funds;

(vi)      Increasing commercial exchange and investment between our countries, particularly in the tourism industry and the energy sector, as a means of facilitating job creation and the economic development of the recipient countries; and

(vii)     Intensifying their cooperation to promote shared goals within the framework of multilateral fora. In this respect the Governments of the CARICOM Member States and of Spain welcome the degree of harmony they have achieved within the United Nations framework. Spain thanks the CARICOM Member States for studying the merits of Spain’s candidacy to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2015-2016.

We commend the work of the Third Meeting of the CARICOM-Spain Joint Commission held on 19 and 20 May 2014 in Georgetown, Guyana, which established the criteria for a more efficient Spanish Cooperation, with greater impact on the wellbeing of the region’s peoples. We note the three priority areas for cooperation for the period 2014-2018 agreed by the Commission, namely Economic Growth, Security and Development and Democratic Governance.

CARICOM welcomes Spain’s having organized a High-Level Seminar on Tourism for CARICOM countries in Madrid between 11 and 15 June 2014. Aware of the growing importance of sustainable tourism, and the large amount of experience accumulated by Spain and the CARICOM Member States in this field, both Parties shall continue to share their mutual experience to develop this sector to the fullest.

CARICOM Heads of Government welcome the increase in the amount contained in the CARICOM-Spain Joint Fund as yet another indication of Spain’s commitment to advancing cooperation with CARICOM States.

We express our satisfaction with the institutionalised dialogue between us that has culminated in four Summits to date, and agree to convene the Fifth CARICOM Spain Summit in the Caribbean Region.

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