Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Friday, 21st February 2014
Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and
Caribbean States (CELAC)
Havana, Cuba, 28th – 29th January 2014
This Statement addresses the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which was held in Havana, Cuba 28th-29th January 2014. It will be recalled that in January last year, following the convening of the First Summit in Chile, at which I represented the Prime Minister, I reported on the outcome of our deliberations and the significance of Jamaica’s membership in this new regional integration mechanism which, for the first time now includes all thirty-three countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jamaica’s delegation to the Second Summit was led by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller and included the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Permanent Secretaries and other Officials in the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Jamaica’s Mission in Cuba, under the leadership of Ambassador A’Dale Robinson, provided valuable support and advice to the Jamaican delegation.
Significance of the Summit and CELAC’s Continued Relevance
The convening of the Summit in the Caribbean and the chairmanship of Cuba over the past year brought CELAC closer home to the Caribbean and provided an opportunity for more active participation by CARICOM countries in the various activities coordinated by Cuba, including in education, health, international cooperation, natural disasters and energy. It may be recalled that Jamaica hosted in Montego Bay in November 2013, the Second Meeting of CELAC Energy Ministers from which emanated the Montego Bay Declaration and Plan of Action. Jamaica also attended other meetings of interest.
This Second Summit of CELAC emphasized the gradual development of the organization into a credible forum for dialogue and consensus-building and for promoting and expanding regional cooperation and collaboration, amidst the diversity of the membership of the group. It created an opportunity also to address differences, and to work towards greater understanding and strengthening of the bonds of friendship uniting the CELAC family of nations, which demonstrates the evolving maturity of the group.
From Jamaica’s perspective, the meeting allowed for frank and open discussion on issues of importance to CELAC member states and to chart a course forward. The outcome documents, in which Jamaica had an input, adequately covered priority issues for the Caribbean sub-region…READ MORE