JOINT STATEMENT OF THE FOURTH GENERAL MEETING BETWEEN THE SECRETARIATS OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM) AND THE ORGANISATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS), 2 MARCH 2007, TURKEYEN, GREATER GEORGETOWN, GUYANA
Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings | 02 March 2007 | Release Ref #: NA | 930
1. The Fourth General Meeting between the Secretariats of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) was convened at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana on 2 March 2007. The CARICOM delegation was led by His Excellency Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community. The OAS delegation was led by the Secretary General, His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza. This is the first time that the respective Secretaries General are leading their delegations to a meeting of the two Secretariats.
2. The CARICOM-OAS relationship was formalized by the signing of the Agreement between the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States and the Caribbean Community, in May 1992.
3. In his opening statement, Secretary-General Carrington expressed his appreciation to the OAS Secretary General for his participation and that of his delegation in the Fourth Meeting. He recalled the supportive role that CARICOM played in the election of His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza to the post of Secretary General of the OAS. Secretary General Carrington also emphasised the strength of the relationship between the two Secretariats and the collaboration that exists between the two Organisations. In this regard, Secretary-General Carrington also recalled the collaboration between the two Organisations in an effort to help the Haitians to resolve their political difficulties and to strengthen their institutional mechanisms to help consolidate governance in Haiti.
4. Secretary-General Carrington expressed the appreciation of the Community for the support being provided by the OAS to the Conference on the Caribbean, 19-21 June 2007.
5. Secretary-General Carrington highlighted the hosting of Cricket World Cup 2007 by the Caribbean Community and the importance to the Community of the commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
6. Secretary General Insulza congratulated Secretary General Carrington on his re-appointment as CARICOM Secretary-General, by the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, for another five years from 1 August 2007. He also thanked Secretary General Carrington for the warm welcome accorded his delegation and for all the courtesies extended and arrangements made for the General Meeting.
7. Secretary General Insulza reiterated the commitment of the OAS to deepen institutional linkages with CARICOM and the strong support of the OAS in the preparations for and hosting of the Conference on the Caribbean in Washington, DC in June 2007.
8. Secretary General Insulza acknowledged the historical importance of the Commemoration of the Abolition of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade to the descendants of Africans throughout the Americas and indicated that the OAS Permanent Council would be commemorating this event at a Special Meeting in late March. He invited the CARICOM Secretariat to be represented at this Meeting.
9. The OAS Secretary General also expressed his best wishes to the Governments of the Caribbean for the hosting of a successful Cricket World Cup 2007.
10. A major emphasis of the meeting was the current CARICOM-OAS relationship and how the two organisations could better collaborate to address the issues of concern to the sub-region and the hemisphere. Both Secretaries-General highlighted the importance of the XIX Summit of the Rio Group being held in Guyana on 2-3 March, the first time that the Summit is being hosted by an English-speaking country, and a Member State of CARICOM. They expressed confidence that the discussions which would take place at that Summit would serve to strengthen relations between Latin America and the Caribbean.
11. The Secretaries-General approved a series of recommendations relating to enhancing and deepening cooperation and consultation between the Secretariats in the following areas: human resource development, gender issues, training of persons with disabilities, trade capacity-building, multidimensional security, drug demand reduction, sustainable development, with particular regard to the environment, climate change, natural disasters, energy, tourism development, democracy and governance, electoral assistance and electoral reform. The OAS raised the issue of electoral financing as an important question.
12. A Policy Dialogue on matters of mutual interest to the two Secretariats focused on issues including Haiti; preparations for the Thirty-Seventh Meeting of the OAS General Assembly and its theme “Energy for Development”; evolving preparations for the Fifth Summit of the Americas to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009; political developments and inter-state relations in the hemisphere; and the Conference on the Caribbean in Washington, DC from 19-21 June 2007.
13. The Secretaries General look forward to the next General Meeting to be held at the Headquarters of the OAS at a date to be determined.
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown
2 March 2007