UN-CARICOM Meeting Identifies Regional Priorities

29 July 2011: The sixth general meeting between the UN System and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its Associated Institutions identified regional priorities across seven broad thematic areas for collaboration, including climate change, sustainable development and disaster management, and energy.

The meeting, which was held from 28-29 July 2011 in Georgetown, Guyana, provided a forum for reviewing and enhancing UN-CARICOM cooperation. The other priority thematic areas identified were: the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and institutional development matters; regional security; food security and food safety; human development, including health, education, gender and youth; and the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development. The meeting recognized that the UN system is engaged in significant work in these areas at the global and/or national levels and underlined the need to identify areas where a regional approach would add value to these ongoing national partnerships. Participants thus discussed how to focus their cooperation to maximize progress in these priority areas and emphasized information sharing, capacity building and institutional strengthening as key tools to implement their respective mandates.

In addition, participants received a report on progress achieved in the implementation of commitments made at the fifth general meeting held in February 2009, the outcome of which was the decision to implement the UN-CARICOM Regional Strategic Framework (RSF) to provide for enhanced coordination between the two organizations. Two reports on the implementation of the RSF were presented and the sixth general meeting considered and adopted recommendations made in the reports to the effect that: the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the CARICOM Secretariat's Foreign and Community Relations Directorate should focus their follow-up on the specific commitments for UN-CARICOM cooperation made during the general meetings, with the result that the RSF in its current form was no longer required; and that a discussion should be initiated on how the UN System could achieve greater coherence in the Caribbean region, in partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and in support of CARICOM member States. [CARICOM Press Release] [UN Secretary-General's Statement]