Final Declaration of 4th Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CARICOM and Cuba

We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Republic of Cuba, cognisant of our common Caribbean Identity, shared values and expressed commitment towards cooperation on regional and international matters of mutual interest and concern, met on Calivigny Island, Grenada, on Friday 6th September 2013, under the joint Chairmanship of Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana and Member of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) Bureau, and His Excellency Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, to review the status of CARICOM-Cuba relations and renew our commitment towards continued cooperation and collaboration.

Recalling previous Summit declarations of December 2002 (Havana), December 2005 (Bridgetown), December 2008 (Santiago de Cuba), and December 2011 (Port of Spain), which have manifested the advancements made in cooperative efforts on international and regional challenges.

Aware that continued and increased cooperation and solidarity are essential to Regional efforts geared at confronting the challenges to our sustainable development and offsetting negative impacts from the global economic and financial crisis and the existing inequitable international economic order.

Sharing the conviction that basic material and spiritual necessities must be at the centre of human development.

Recalling our commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 as well as our intention to maintain these goals well beyond the targets, and our recognition of sustainable development as a key element of the general framework of activities of the United Nations(UN) and cognisant of the important role of each country in securing its own programme on sustainable development and the need for increased cooperation for this purpose, particularly on financing modalities for development and the elimination of negative preconditions for development assistance.

Reaffirming the fundamental principle of common but differentiated responsibilities adopted in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the crucial need to fulfil all commitments related to official development assistance, including the commitments by developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for official development assistance to developing countries by 2015, as well as a target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of gross national product for official development assistance to the least developed countries

Aware of the tremendous challenges to our peoples’ welfare imposed by non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean.

Recalling the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, the Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in which persons with disabilities are recognised as both development agents and beneficiaries in all aspects of development.

Acutely aware of the disastrous and adverse effects of Climate Change on the Caribbean region and its vulnerability to natural disasters.

Aware of the serious danger and threats posed by terrorism and terrorist actions to the international community.

Recalling the commitment made at previous CARICOM-CUBA Summits and, in that context, reaffirming the strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as to all terrorist actions, methods and practices committed anywhere, by whoever perpetrates them against whomsoever, included those in which states may be directly or indirectly involved, which are unjustifiable whatever reasons and factors may be invoked to justify such terrorist actions.

Reiterate our unwavering commitment to the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the avenue of multilateralism offered for concerted positive global action, the fundamental principles of International Law, the respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal matters of States, territorial integrity, the peaceful resolution of disputes and the prohibition of threats or the use of force in international relations.

Express our deep concern for the loss of human life, the allegations of the use of chemical weapons, the possibility of a wide war in Syria and for the dangers it may entail to the Region of the Middle East and for international peace and security. In that context, we reaffirm our support for peace and for the principles of international law including the peaceful solution of disputes, and stress that any military action against Syria must be carried out in full conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.

Acknowledge the basis proffered by the CARICOM-Cuba Foreign Ministerial Meetings and CARICOM-Cuba Summits as a platform for effective political coordination between Cuba and CARICOM.

Recognise the congratulations extended by Cuba to all CARICOM Member States on the commemoration of the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the Caribbean Community.

Reaffirm our steadfast commitment to joint efforts in the areas of Health, Education, Culture, and Natural Disasters and other areas of mutual interest at the regional level aimed at promoting the human and social development of our peoples.

Agree to continue to give priority to trade relations between CARICOM and Cuba, revisiting efforts to update and implement the CARICOM-Cuba Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement and revitalise the CARICOM-Cuba Joint Commission

Recognise the need to identify sources of financing, including external, for the implementation of the nine cooperation projects submitted to the 4th Cuba-CARICOM Summit.

Acknowledge the debt of gratitude that we have with the Haitian people, who abolished slavery completely for the first time and established the condition of citizen for all human beings.

Reaffirm the commitment to work together, both at regional and international levels, to promote cooperation that takes into consideration the conditions and the special characteristics of Haiti, in strict respect for the sovereignty, the interests and decisions of the people and government of this nation.

Underscore the importance of strengthening existing regional institutions and mechanisms such as the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) that advance the regional integrative effort, convinced that cooperation, solidarity, complementarity and the will to advance to higher levels of development that will best serve the expectations and interests of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean,and preserve their independence, sovereignty and identity, and will thus continue working towards the consolidation of CELAC, ensuring that priorities of Caribbean Community Member States are accorded full cognisance within that framework.  At the same time, we acknowledge the importance of participation by the Chair of CARICOM in the CELAC extended Troika as a way of ensuring attentive prioritisation of the interests of CARICOM Members.

Commit our support to the Government of Jamaica in the hosting of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Energy of CELAC to be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Montego Bay, Jamaica on 24th-25th October 2013.

Assert our shared conviction that efforts at National, Regional and International Development must be people-centred; that human sustainable development must be at the centre of regional cooperation efforts; that poverty, social exclusion, the scourge of AIDS, illiteracy, food security, crime and violence and effects of natural disasters must be addressed.

Reaffirm our commitment to ensure access to knowledge by all as a means of fulfilling our goal of education for all, recognising that our societies can only advance with improved living standards through quality education that affords the opportunity of social inclusion.

Renew our call for mechanisms that facilitate the transfer of clean and environmentally respectful technologies from Developed to Developing Countries, particularly Small Island Developing States, recognising this is of utmost importance in achieving sustainable development in the Caribbean Region.

Reiterate our commitment to increase protection and conservation efforts in the environmental context and in the sustainable use of the Region’s natural resources, particularly the Caribbean Sea, and to continue efforts at multilateral fora, the ACS and UN, aimed at achieving recognition of the Caribbean Sea as a Special Area in the context of sustainable development.

Reaffirm our commitment to actively engage in the process of formulation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and the need for transparent and inclusive negotiations, whose final outcome should respond in general to developing countries concerns, problems, needs and priorities. The special vulnerabilities of small island developing states must be addressed in that context.

Assert prominent non-communicable determination to combat the most prominent non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer, including the risk factors of physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol, and recognise as the most feasible combative strategy an approach that would include risk factor reduction, health system reform, equitable access to affordable medicines, and, improved surveillance and monitoring and assessment programmes.

Express our deep concern that 80% of those living with disabilities are to be found in Developing Countries and recognise the critical importance of international cooperation to lend support to national efforts aimed at addressing the challenges posed by disability and bring into fruition the purposes and objectives of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Commit our support for CARICOM’s initiative concerning persons with disabilities and special needs and explore avenues for further collaboration and cooperation on this matter, and to the hosting of the CARICOM High-Level Meeting on Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs by the Government of Haiti on 5th – 6th December 2013.

Express solidarity with all countries and communities that face the devastation of natural disasters and our intention to collaborate further on the development of prevention, mitigation and recovery measures at the national and regional levels as well as in the application of best practices in our coordinated response and rehabilitation plans.

State our satisfaction with the level of cooperation that has been displayed among Caribbean Countries in recent years in preventing and addressing the damages caused by hurricanes and other natural phenomena.

Underscore the serious threat posed by Climate Change to Small Island Developing States, Developing Countries with low-lying coastal areas and humanity on a whole.  We reaffirm the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and reiterate our call for Developed Countries to live up to their commitments to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and on official development aid.  In the face of the ecological debt they have contracted, we call upon them to provide resources aimed at assisting vulnerable states in adaptation and mitigation efforts

Urge the International Community to make every effort towards implementing the decisions of the COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, particularly the entry into force of the second commitment phase of the Kyoto Protocol and the final implementation of a mechanism for loss and damage.

Reiterate our firm condemnation of the unilateral and extraterritorial application of coercive laws and measures contrary to International Law, the Charter of the United nations and the principles of free navigation and international trade, and urge the United States to respect and heed the incessant call of the Members of the United nations to immediately lift the unjust  economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against the Republic of Cuba and all its associated measures which deter the socio-economic development and well-being of the people of Cuba.

Reconfirm our unwavering stance and commitment towards combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, adhering to International Law, the Resolutions of the United Nations, Humanitarian Law and the norms and principles of human rights protection.

Express our concern on the inclusion of Cuba on the list of “States Sponsors of Terrorism” published by the State Department of the United States of America. We reject the unilateral elaboration of blacklists accusing States of allegedly supporting and sponsoring terrorism, which is inconsistent with international law. We request the Government of the United States of America to put an end to this unilateral practice.

Recognise the committed fervour and work of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias towards the integration and unity of the peoples of the region and beyond, expressed through, PETROCARIBE, ALBA and CELAC and express the confidence that the Venezuelan Government will guarantee the continuity and consolidation of the integrationist ideals and historic legacy he has left behind in the Region.

Recognise the sovereign right of the Republic of Cuba to participate in the Summit of the Americas mechanism, without preconditions of any kind, as it was established in the documents of the Cartagena Summit. In this regard, we reaffirm the Caribbean Community’s unequivocal position in favour of Cuba’s participation in the 7th Summit to be held in Panama, on an equal footing of sovereignty, which coincides with the position of solidarity expressed in different fora throughout the region.

Express our thanks to the Government and people of Grenada for their warm welcome and the generous hospitality extended to us during our meeting on this beautiful Island called Calivigny.

Decide to hold the Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana, Cuba, on 8th December 2014

Adopted at the Fourth Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CARICOM and Cuba on 6th September, 2013, at Calivigny Island, Grenada.

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