JIS News

Jamaica’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. the Hon Kenneth Baugh, has praised the Rio Group for its role in strengthening the region’s international presence.
Dr. Baugh made comment on Thursday (November 05), after Jamaica was admitted as the 25th member of the prestigious hemispheric body, at a meeting of its Foreign Ministers at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa, Montego Bay.
The Rio Group was founded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1986 in response to what was then perceived as United States’ domination of the Organization of American States (OAS). The Group, which started with only six members, continues to seek common foreign policy positions for its members which include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela.
CARICOM is usually represented by one of its member states, which currently is Jamaica, but with Thursday’s approval Jamaica is now a full-fledged member like its CARICOM colleagues Belize, Guyana and Haiti.
In his speech accepting the membership approval, Dr. Baugh said that Jamaica fully endorsed the objectives of the Rio Group, as a regional mechanism for dialogue and concerted political agreement. Jamaica also shares the commitment of the Group to the preservation of peace, the promotion of democratic values, respect for the rule of law and the fostering of multilateralism, he added.
“The Government of Jamaica certainly recognizes the essential and unique role that the Rio Group plays for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” Dr. Baugh stated.
“It is one of the most representative groupings of Latin American and Caribbean countries, and plays an invaluable role to strengthen the region’s international presence, to enhance its influence in multilateral fora and to increase interaction with extra-regional states and group states,” he observed.
He expressed gratitude to the countries which supported Jamaica’s entry, and said that his Government looked forward to working with Rio’s member states.
“We have common goals and aspirations, so let us work together to ensure a better quality of life for all our peoples, and let us leave a legacy of unity and mutual respect of which future generations can be justly proud,” Dr. Baugh said.
Jamaica is hosting important meetings of Foreign Ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean (CALC) on Integration and Development, and the Rio Group, November 4-6, at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa Hotel, Montego Bay St. James. Approximately 34 Foreign Ministers from the hemisphere are attending these meetings.

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