The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Canada have launched a strategic partnership. Building on many years of political and economic ties between Canada and the Caribbean region, this new partnership is an outcome of their recently concluded Canada-CARICOM Summit. The Summit’s theme was “Strategic Partners for a Resilient Future” and was held in Ottawa, Canada, October 17-19, 2023.
Please see below from the CARICOM Secretariat:
Bound by an unwavering friendship, Canada and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) seek to formalize their vibrant and multi-faceted partnership, as natural hemispheric partners, with strong and lasting foundations built on deep people-to-people, historical and cultural ties, and mutual respect. Among the first to recognize the independence of CARICOM Member States, Canada remains steadfast in its trusted relationship with CARICOM over the years. This relationship, forged in the birth of new Caribbean nations, has evolved into an enduring strategic partnership amongst equals, based on a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and the rules-based international order, and which aims to advance common foreign policy, trade, security, and development priorities.
As global actors, Canada and CARICOM join forces to navigate evolving geopolitical events, including our most recent engagement in the triple crises of COVID-19, climate change, and food and energy insecurity. Together we commit to joint action on shared priorities such as climate resilience; building inclusive and sustainable economies; enhancing multilateral cooperation; and bolstering bilateral and regional security, including working together to help restore the security and stability of Haiti for the benefit of its people. We are also committed to working together to promote gender and racial equality and inclusion in the hemisphere, and to strengthening our already deep people-to-people ties. We are committed to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and building strong, resilient and inclusive societies and economies.
Marking the occasion of our first Summit to be held in Canada, we launch the Canada-CARICOM Strategic Partnership, to embed our close collaboration and cooperation on mutually agreed sectors.
The Canada-CARICOM Strategic Partnership:
- Serves as a permanent joint mechanism for regular dialogue, as well as for ad hoc consultations on issues of mutual interest, with responsibility for preparation, follow-up and implementation of joint actions, decisions and agreements between Canada and CARICOM.
- Fosters the existing relationship between Canada and CARICOM through regular leader, ministerial and senior official level meetings to advance time-bound and agreed-upon roadmaps for action.
- STRUCTURE AND COORDINATION
3a.General Coordination and Management
Global Affairs Canada and the CARICOM Secretariat will co-lead the general coordination and management of the Strategic Partnership. Collaborative partnerships can be forged between competent institutions in Canada and relevant regional organizations in CARICOM in order to drive dialogue and implement initiatives.
3b. Structure and Frequency of Meetings
The Canada-CARICOM Strategic Partnership is comprised of regular leader-level engagement to set overarching priorities and interests to advance and further deepen the partnership in addition to concurrent formal and ad hoc fora:
- Canada-CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Group (CCFMG): meet annually to advance overarching priorities through substantive discussions on issues impacting the Caribbean region and the hemisphere, emerging trends and solutions to common challenges. Based on the agenda and discussions during the CCFMG, Ministers will set annual priorities for officials to guide the implementation of a Canada-CARICOM evergreen Roadmap for action. Foreign Ministers will report to Leaders through a joint letter from Canada’s Foreign Minister and the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) pro-tempore Chair of CARICOM describing engagement, progress to date and joint action to advance the Strategic Partnership.
- Canada-CARICOM Ministerial Meetings: ad-hoc ministerial-level meetings to advance specific thematic priorities, including on Trade, Development, Finance, Health, Environment, and Defence, etc.
- Canada-CARICOM Senior Officials’ Dialogue: the annual CCFMG meeting is preceded by the Senior Officials’ Dialogue, which serves as a preparatory meeting for Foreign Ministers’ substantive discussions on topline issues, and reviews progress and implementation of the Canada-CARICOM Roadmap.
- Canada-CARICOM Expert Dialogues: ad-hoc expert dialogues between relevant Canadian and CARICOM Institutions could be established to advance thematic priorities and actions listed in the Canada-CARICOM Roadmap, including bilateral, regional and multilateral initiatives. Expert groups would meet before and after major international summits, including – but not limited to – UNGA, the OAS, WHO, the Commonwealth, the G7 and the G20, to deepen coordinated action on multilateral priorities of democracy, human rights, and the rules based international order and amplify advocacy for hemispheric challenges. Expert groups would report on concrete progress at the annual Senior Officials’ Dialogue, to ensure effective and sustainable progress is being made on thematic lines of activity.
- Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: to deepen institutional linkages through training, knowledge exchange, capacity building and technical assistance initiatives, including considering secondments as a form of exchange program, where a CARICOM official is embedded in a federal organisation and vice-versa in the Secretariat or within a CARICOM Member State’s organisation.
- Special ad-hoc meetings: could be held at the request of Canada or CARICOM.
- LAUNCH OF THE CANADA-CARICOM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Pursuant to the Co-Chairs’ Statement of the Second Meeting of the Canada-CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Group, the Canada-CARICOM Strategic Partnership is hereby launched by Leaders at the Canada-CARICOM Summit in Ottawa, 18 October 2023.