By Caribbean News Global
OTTAWA, Canada – Marc Garneau, minister of foreign affairs, and Eamon Courtenay, Belize’s minister of foreign affairs, foreign trade and immigration and the incoming chair of the Council for foreign and community relations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), co-chaired the first meeting of the Canada-CARICOM foreign ministers’ group.
“Canada’s deep partnership with our Caribbean friends is critical as we seek to build back better, stronger and greener from the COVID-19 global pandemic and the economic hardships it caused. [Today] we discussed our shared priorities and our commitment to build a better future together, based on long-standing friendships, shared values and dynamic trade relations with inclusive economic growth and climate resilience,’’ said, minister Garneau.
In a statement, Global Affairs Canada, said, the forum served as a platform for Canada and Caribbean partners to discuss shared priorities and opportunities for coordinated action.
“The ministers exchanged views on their countries’ coordinated response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, identified shared priorities in achieving inclusive economic growth in the region and discussed areas of collaboration on climate resilience to support an inclusive and sustainable recovery.”
Minister Garneau affirmed Canada’s strong support for the COVAX facility, and Canada’s commitment to continue encouraging others to provide the additional support needed by this key multilateral partnership to ensure equitable access to vaccines globally; announced the following initiatives to deepen the Canada-CARICOM partnership:
- An $81.41 million pledge for the replenishment of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Special Development Fund;
- A commitment of $9 million to the World Food Programme to support logistics and tackle food insecurity.
“Canada and Caribbean countries share deep and long-standing friendships based on people-to-people ties, shared political values, dynamic trade relations and a commitment to inclusive economic growth and climate resilience,” the statement concluded.