Posted On: Thursday, 10 May 2012
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Basseterre, St. Kitts,(Thursday 10th May, 2012)-During the Fifteenth Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) the foreign affairs Ministers took the opportunity to underscore the interests, concerns and special circumstances of the Caribbean Community(CARICOM), many of whose Member States are categorized as Small Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries (SHIMICS).
In addition, the Council brought to the attention of the representatives the issues of the United Kingdom’s Advanced Passenger Duty and the graduation of Member States from concessional financing.
The Foreign Ministers also met with, and recalled the long-standing political and technical relationship which has grown steadily for more than a decade. They also discussed the timing of a pending Summit and a meeting of a Joint Commission.
The Council exchanged views on the Community’s technical cooperation relations with its international development partners, noting its appreciation for the continued assistance received from a number of traditional as well as new development partners, which has provided meaningful support to the Region in the attainment of its development goals.
They also considered the emerging trends of some concern in the aid policy of International Development Partners, such as “differentiation”, which results in the graduation of certain Member States from receiving national development assistance.
The Ministers discussed strategies and policies to respond appropriately to such disturbing trends which do not take into consideration the problems of vulnerability of small states.
They welcomed the offer of Suriname to host the Second CARICOM-Brazil Summit in 2013 which will be preceded by a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of both sides.
It was also agreed that interaction and cooperation with third states should contribute to mutually beneficial relations, including at the political, economic and technical cooperation levels.