JIS News

Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, has said that the region stood to derive tremendous benefits from the provisions of a two-pronged agreement between Spain and CARICOM, which was arrived at after three days of deliberations last week in Kingston.
In giving details of the arrangement at a press conference held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Friday (Oct. 20), Ambassador Applewhaite said that CARICOM, which negotiated as a bloc, had agreed to a partnership that would comprise a programmatic approach to technical cooperation.
She emphasized that there would be no small, ad hoc projects, but instead, a comprehensive programme would be embarked on to address the needs of the region.
According to Ambassador Applewhaite, “the Government of Spain has graciously agreed to respond to the request of the CARICOM region under two broad headings; the first heading is Caribbean integration and all the aspects that contribute to the development of the region in particular the CARICOM Development Fund, the Regional Development Agency and the establishment of a regional research and education network (CARIBNET)”.
She noted that the support in these areas was designed to make the region more competitive in the global economy.
The second plank of the agreement, which would unfold over the next four years, is designed to aid in human resource development.
“It will prepare the people of the region to contribute to, as well as to be involved and benefit from, the integration and development of the region,” the Ambassador informed, noting that the key areas to be addressed were education, natural disaster, health, gender and development, tourism, cultural development, agriculture and security.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director at the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI), Pascual Navarro, said “we will begin today, a new era of relationships between CARICOM countries and Spain,” through what he termed “a precise programme of work in the areas.that are a priority for development for all the countries of the region”.
Mr. Navarro noted that “Spain has numerous responsibilities as an international donor and we would not leave the Caribbean aside from our co-operation efforts around the world and this was the moment.to take priority”.