CARICOM/US to Cooperate in Making Hemisphere More Secure


CARICOM and the United States of America have pledged to contribute to the defense and security of the hemisphere in order to combat transnational crimes and terrorism. In a joint statement issued following a meeting on the Third Border Initiative in Monterrey, Mexico on Monday (Jan. 12) Caribbean leaders and the United States have agreed to take steps to promote regional security and justice, to ensure the safe and secure transportation of people, good and services throughout the region.
In the joint statement, both sides recognised the concerns and vulnerability of small economies and the challenges they face in integrating successfully in the global economy and, in this regard, are aware of the significance of trade and investment ties between the US and the Caribbean in promoting economic development and improving the well being of all citizens.
“We recognize that the increasing global integration of the economic and financial domains facilitates the free movement of capital across borders. Taking advantage of this increasing integration, money laundering and other financial crimes create an environment where corruption, terrorist financing and attendant illegal practices may thrive. We will therefore continue to support the Caribbean’s efforts to expand a financial services industry and increase its competitiveness, while adhering to international standards and transparency in its operations,” the statement continued.
The United States and CAROICOM have also decided to work closely in developing strategies and programmes to promote continued growth, vitality, diversity and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism sector.
The leaders at their meeting also took note of the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the region and have pledged to cooperate in building capacity in the region for HIV/AIDS prevention, including education, voluntary and counselling and testing. The programme should also include monitoring and surveillance, care and support and cost effective treatment to counter the devastating impact of the pandemic in the Caribbean and it’s potential threat to the stability and welfare of the region.
Other issues discussed included education and training and the vulnerability of the region to hurricanes and other natural disasters.
The Third Border Initiative was first announced by US President George Bush at the Quebec Summit of the Americas in 2001 as a framework for structuring US engagement across a broad spectrum of matters that affect the prosperity and well being of the hemisphere. It seeks to focus US-Caribbean engagement through targeted programmes that comprise both new and ongoing activities designed to enhance cooperation in the diplomatic, security, economic, environmental, health and education arenas.

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