The 5th PetroCaribe Ministerial Council Meeting of Energy Ministers and the 6th Summit of the Heads of State and Governments was hosted in Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis over the period June 11 and 12, 2009.
The Jamaican Delegation in attendance was led by the Honourable Prime Minister Bruce Golding, supported by Honourable James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining.
Speaking at the Summit, Mr. Golding commended President Hugo Chavez for his vision in creating PetroCaribe. He highlighted the value of the Agreement to several Caribbean countries and the way in which PetroCaribe has helped to buffer the effects of high oil prices and is helping to stabilise our economies.
Prime Minister Golding acknowledged the generosity of Venezuela and its people and recognised the sacrifice they have made by foregoing immediate revenue to facilitate the PetroCaribe Agreement. He emphasised the need to ensure the sustainability of the existing Agreement.
“This he said, should not be left to Venezuela alone. Each country must play its part to ensure that the programme does not become an unbearable burden on the Venezuelan people”.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding (front row, right) poses for a group photo
with other Caribbean and Latin American Heads of State including President
of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez (front row, 3rd from right), attending the 6th
PetroCaribe Summit in St. Kitts on Friday, June 12, 2009.
Mr. Golding urged signatories to the PetroCaribe Agreement to be mindful of their obligations to the Venezuelan Government. He further urged them to ensure that the funds retained under the PetroCaribe accord are utilised to meet the development objectives enshrined in the Agreement.
“They should ensure the fiscal ability of their countries to make repayments when due, without creating additional burden for future budgets and future generations,” he emphasized.
The Prime Minister also called for an improvement in the administrative arrangements to allow for more timely decision-making and more pro-active initiatives to deal with global challenges.
Mr. Golding described the PetroCaribe Agreement as a model for co-operation within the region and among developing countries. He highlighted this initiative as a profound example of South/South Co-operation, particularly in light of the exclusion of developing countries from G – 20 deliberations.
The Summit was attended by approximately twenty (20) Heads of State/Ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean. The Jamaican Delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM), Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), PetroCaribe Development Fund and PETROJAM.