JIS News

As the CARICOM representative within the Rio Group, Jamaica will seek to raise issues of concern to the region, while leveraging high level political contacts to deepen its relations with other Latin American and Caribbean members of the group.
This was stated by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Ronald Robinson, during his contribution to the 2008/09 State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on July 18.
Jamaica will represent CARICOM until 2011 within the Rio Group, which brings together countries from the Latin American and Caribbean region, and engages in regular dialogue at the highest political level.
“The Rio Group is highly valued for being able to respond quickly to crises and concerns, while providing a forum for frank and open debate,” the State Minister said.
Speaking to other regional and hemispheric co-operation, Senator Robinson said the Organisation of American States (OAS) remains a viable, responsive and open institution, which responds to challenges facing the region within the resources at its disposal. He said Secretary General, Jose Miguel Insulza, continues to underscore the need for all states to actively engage in multilateralism and to use it to advance peace and security within the framework of respect for sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention.
Senator Robinson said discussions on best practices and efforts being undertaken by member states to engage the youth in the political and democratic processes in their respective countries, were dealt with in an open and productive atmosphere at the 38th regular session of the General Assembly in Colombia from June 1 to 2, and that he is “strongly of the view that this augurs well for the maintenance of peace, security and stability in our hemisphere.”
Turning to the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), he said this is another institution that is serving to deepen the level of dialogue and integration across the wider Caribbean region.
The State Minister explained that the ACS facilitates consultation and collaboration and has provided positive benefits in the areas of trade, transport, tourism and natural disasters. “We are of the view that the work of the ACS will be greatly advanced with the increased input of funding agencies and will therefore be better placed to design and implement larger scale projects,” he said.

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