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COMMUNIQUÉ issued at the conclusion of the 27th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), Roseau, Dominica, 23-24 May 2024

The Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held in Roseau, Dominica from 23-24 May 2024, under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Dr. Vince Henderson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The COFCOR was attended by the Honourable Frederick Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; the Honourable Dr. Vince Henderson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy of the Commonwealth of Dominica; the Honourable Joseph Andall, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Export Development of Grenada; Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (Virtual); the Honourable Keisal M. Peters, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; His Excellency Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of the Republic of Suriname; and Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

His Excellency Clarence Henry, Ambassador to CARICOM, represented Antigua and Barbuda; Ambassador Donna Forde, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, represented Barbados; Ambassador Amalia Mai, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration, represented Belize; His Excellency George Talbot, Ambassador to CARICOM, represented the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Ms. Janelle Modeste-Stephen, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs, represented Saint Lucia.


Remarks were delivered by Dr. Carla Barnett, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community; Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica and Outgoing Chair of the COFCOR; and the Honourable Dr. Vince Henderson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy of the Commonwealth of Dominica and Chair of the COFCOR.

(The statements are available at


The COFCOR reiterated the importance of CARICOM’s effective participation in international fora, including through the pursuit of increased CARICOM representation in multilateral organisations.  In this regard, Foreign Ministers considered and endorsed several CARICOM candidatures in the United Nations (UN), the Organisation of American States (OAS) and other international and regional organisations.  


The Council received an update on climate change issues, including efforts being undertaken at the regional level and follow-up actions from COP28 in preparation for COP29.

The Council welcomed the intention of Barbados to host the Board of the Loss and Damage Fund.  Additionally, Barbados assumed the Chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum commencing in May 2024, for the period 2024-2026. They emphasised the importance of Member States joining the Climate Vulnerable Forum given the significance to the Community of the issues the Forum seeks to address.

Foreign Ministers acknowledged the proposal by Barbados to host pre-COP meetings for COP29 and COP30, respectively.


The COFCOR acknowledged the significance of building on existing relations between CARICOM and several Third States.  Particular attention was paid to the recent Dialogue between Heads of Government and the President of Brazil in the margins of the Forty-Sixth Regular Meeting of the Conference earlier in February this year. Follow-up to that High-level engagement will include areas of cooperation of critical interest to the Community and support for global financial reform through efforts such as the Bridgetown Initiative. 

Further, the Council received a presentation on the Health Development Partnership for Africa and the Caribbean (HDPAC).  This Partnership is in line with the COFCOR decision to facilitate CARICOM – African Union cooperation and presents an opportunity to identify common health development challenges and propose solutions for future actions by leveraging opportunities and existing institutional structures for a better response.  Additionally, discussions took place on preparations for upcoming Ministerial meetings with Canada, Cuba, India, and Japan, and further cooperation with other development partners.

Foreign Ministers noted the upcoming elections in Third States from the perspective of exploring opportunities to strengthen relations with both traditional and non-traditional partners.


United Nations (UN)

The COFCOR received an update on matters of importance to the Community that are being considered within the United Nations, including Security Council Reform, the International Legal Binding Instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), the Summit of the Future, and the Global Digital Compact. 

Ministers recognized the importance of Member States for the Community remaining actively engaged in the preparatory process of the BBNJ, including the signing and ratification of the Agreement. They welcomed the intention of Belize to host a workshop to improve the understanding of the BBNJ Agreement and enhance preparedness for the entry into force of the Agreement.

Organization of American States (OAS)

The COFCOR received an update on the issues of strategic importance to the Caribbean Community before the Organization of American States (OAS).

The COFCOR noted with concern the possible expansion of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) to non-Caribbean States and possible implications to trade and investment for CARICOM Member States.

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

CARICOM Foreign Ministers commended St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ successful Pro Tempore Presidency (PPT) of CELAC, particularly the key role played by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in facilitating political dialogue between President Irfaan Ali of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and President Nicolas Maduro of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on the border controversy between both countries

Association of Caribbean States (ACS)

Foreign Ministers received a report of the Twenty-Ninth Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held in Paramaribo, Suriname, on 9 May 2024. They commended the Republic of Suriname on its chairmanship of the ACS Ministerial Council for the period 2023-2024.

The COFCOR acknowledged the importance of the ACS for Member States of the Community particularly in the context of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the establishment of the Association.


The COFCOR received an update on the prolonged and multidimensional situation in Haiti.  Ministers welcomed the establishment and installation of the Transitional Presidential Council. They noted, in particular, the multi-stakeholder representation of the Transitional Presidential Council as a new approach to governance in Haiti and observed the commitment of the Transitional Council to building inclusive institutions recognizing the important role to be played by women and youth. However, they expressed concerns over the worsening of the security crisis and pledged CARICOM’s continued support in helping Haiti to return to normalcy, organize free and fair elections, restore democracy, and achieve sustainable peace and development.


Foreign Ministers welcomed His Excellency Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest with a view to enhancing their bilateral cooperation and relationship.

 The Council expressed appreciation for Qatar’s continued support to CARICOM Member States through collaboration in key areas such as infrastructure, climate change, blue and green economy conservation, post-disaster relief, water security, and energy, as well as through the provision of humanitarian aid to Haiti.

The State of Qatar expressed an interest in intensifying and expanding bilateral relations, including the conclusion of a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between CARICOM and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In this regard, Foreign Ministers extended invitations to Qatar to pay bilateral visits.


Foreign Ministers considered several High-level Meetings/Summits of interest to CARICOM scheduled to take place this year, including the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS44). 

Ministers received an update on the preparations for SIDS4 and expressed best wishes to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for a successful conference, as host of this important meeting.


Belize-Guatemala Dispute

The COFCOR received an update on developments relating to the territorial, insular and maritime claim of Guatemala that is now before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).  The COFCOR noted that the written pleadings phase of the case is now completed. 

The COFCOR further noted that Belize found it necessary to use the facility provided by the Pact of Bogotá to submit to the ICJ the dispute between Belize and Honduras arising from Honduras’ dormant but existing claim against the Sapodilla Cayes, which are also claimed by Guatemala. The two countries have completed their pleadings in the case, but Guatemala has applied to intervene, and that matter is pending.

The COFCOR expressed concern about the continued illegal activities by Guatemalans that result in the deforestation of Belize’s protected areas along the Belize-Guatemala border.  They also expressed their concern about recent incidents at the Sarstoon River and called on both countries to urgently fulfil their commitment to design a mechanism of cooperation for the Sarstoon River, with the assistance of the OAS.

The COFCOR reiterated its call on Belize, Guatemala, and the OAS to respect and fully implement the Confidence Building Measures agreed under their Framework Agreement of 2005, pending a resolution of the case before the ICJ.  

The COFCOR commended the OAS for its key role in the process aimed at resolving the dispute arising from Guatemala’s claims on Belize and called on the international community to continue supporting the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone.

The COFCOR reaffirmed its unwavering support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of Belize.

Guyana-Venezuela Controversy

The Foreign Ministers received an update on recent developments on the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

They noted that despite the 1 December 2023, Order of Provisional Measures made by the International Court of Justice and the Joint Declaration of Argyle for Dialogue and Peace between Guyana and Venezuela, agreed to by the parties on 14 December 2023 – with substantial regional support  Venezuela continued its aggressive posture towards Guyana. They noted that following the promulgation of the organic law by the Government of Venezuela on 3 April 2024, to annex more than two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, this issue was brought by Guyana to the attention of the United Nations Security Council which reminded that both parties were obligated to comply with the Order of the Court. Ministers also noted Guyana’s concerns over the continued military build-up by Venezuela on the border between the two countries.

Ministers welcomed the submission made by Venezuela on 8 April 2024 of its Counter-Memorial to the Court. They reiterated their continued support for the judicial process to resolve the controversy. They further underscored Caricom’s support for the maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana.


The COFCOR agreed to issue the following Statement:


The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) welcomes the decision of the Government of the United States of America (USA) to remove the Republic of Cuba from its list of states that are “not cooperating fully” in its fight against terrorism.

COFCOR notes, however, that the Republic of Cuba remains on the US State Department’s list of countries that have been deemed by the USA to be State Sponsors of Terrorism. COFCOR therefore, renews its call for the urgent removal of Cuba from the list of countries deemed to be State Sponsors of Terrorism.

 COFCOR also reaffirms its rejection of the unilateral imposition by the United States of America of the economic, commercial, and financial embargo against Cuba. Both the designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and the 62-year-old embargo are unjust and wrongly imposed upon the Cuban people and must be terminated.


24 MAY 2024


Foreign Ministers expressed their deep appreciation to the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica for the warm hospitality, excellent arrangements and courtesies extended to delegations, which facilitated the successful deliberations of the Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the COFCOR.  They looked forward to convening the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the COFCOR in Suriname in May 2025.

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