Cuba joins CARICOM’s Task Force on Agriculture

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Cuba has accepted an offer from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to join the Community’s Ministerial Task Force on Agriculture.

Both sides also agreed to observe October 6 as CARICOM Cuba Day Against Terrorism.

These were among the major outcomes of the 8th CARICOM-Cuba Summit held in Barbados on Tuesday as the 50 th Anniversary of diplomatic ties was celebrated.

A Declaration was issued following the meeting which outlined the areas of agreement and co-operation.

CARICOM’s Special Ministerial Task Force on food production and food security was established to propel the region’s thrust towards reducing its food import bill by 25 percent by 2025.

The participation of Cuba is a boost particularly to the technological aspects of the initiative.

Closer collaboration with Cuba in the area of agriculture will include the establishment of a food terminal to provide a consistent supply of food items to Cuba.

The Heads of State and Government declared October 6 as the CARICOM- Cuba Day against terrorism in memory of the 73 people who died including CARICOM and Cuban nationals in the bombing of the Cubana Airlines in the waters off Barbados on October 6, 1976, and for which there has been no accountability.

Later in the day they laid wreaths during a ceremony at Payne’s Bay where there is a monument in memory of those who died in the explosion.

Cuba announced further assistance to CARICOM Member States in the fields of Health and
Environmental Management.

This includes a supply of vaccines and training in epidemiological surveillance, nursing and medical specialties, the rehabilitation of coastal areas through a project funded by South Korea and the preservation of coral reefs.

EIGHTH CARICOM-CUBA SUMMIT
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, 6 DECEMBER 2022
BRIDGETOWN DECLARATION

We, the Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the
Republic of Cuba, meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, on the occasion of the Eighth
CARICOM-Cuba Summit to commemorate with much joy and satisfaction the Fiftieth
Anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with the independent States of CARICOM
and Cuba and the Twentieth Anniversary of CARICOM-Cuba Day;

Proud of our shared Caribbean identity and the strong and high level of bilateral and
political and cooperative relations, strengthened by the agreements we have signed and
through cooperation in international fora and mutual support for multilateral mechanisms
that have permitted us to advance our respective national development agendas on behalf
of our peoples on the basis of solidarity and complementarity;

Recalling with pride that Cuba was represented at the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas
which established the Caribbean Community;

Recalling the Declarations of Havana (2002), Bridgetown (2005), Santiago de Cuba (2008),
Port of Spain (2011), Havana (2014), Saint Mary’s (2017), and Virtual (2020);

Aware of the importance of continuing to work together, particularly to build economic and
climate resilience towards the sustainable development of our countries and for inclusive,
just and equitable societies, and to address our shared vulnerabilities as Small Island
Developing States and countries with Low-lying coastal areas;

Deeply grieved by the loss of lives and concerned by the extensive socioeconomic effects of
the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases, and the devastating, more frequent
and intense weather events that have worsened the multiple crises faced by mankind today;

Conscious that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the systemic failures of the
international financial architecture, including the lack of access to development financing
and inadequate solutions to address unsustainable debt for small and vulnerable countries,
and middle-income countries, and underscoring the urgency for a comprehensive and
integrated approach to support the countries of the Caribbean;

Acknowledging with gratitude the medical support to CARICOM Member States from the
Government of Cuba to bolster health systems and save lives, including in response to the
COVID-19 pandemic;

Acknowledging also that CARICOM Member States had provided support to the
Government of Cuba in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the spirit of solidarity
and mutual cooperation;

Highlighting the importance of redoubling our efforts to improve the productivity,
infrastructure, air and sea connectivity of our countries, as well as to expand our economic
and trade ties, through the implementation of the Trade and Economic Cooperation
Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba;

Recalling the importance of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) as mechanisms for concertation, political dialogue, coordination and the promotion of unity in the region;

Reaffirming our commitment to continue preserving the environmental integrity of the
Caribbean Sea and strengthening cooperation within the ACS so as to advance the wellbeing of our peoples;

and

Reaffirming the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed in Havana in January 2014 and its objectives to assure the security and well-being of the Latin American and Caribbean people.

We therefore:

Reiterate that the unity and integration of our Caribbean region is based on
historical ties and respect for the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of
the United Nations and in international law. We underscore our wholehearted
support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination, non-interference
in the internal affairs of any country, the rejection of the use or threat of the use of
force, peaceful settlement of disputes, the protection and promotion of human
rights for all, as well as the promotion of friendly relations among States irrespective
of differences in their political, economic, and social systems or development levels,
with the aim to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as
good neighbors;

Welcome the outcomes of the regular meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of
CARICOM and Cuba, which continue to serve as a platform for political engagement,
cooperation, solidarity, collaboration, and for reinforcing our commitment to
maintaining the strong fraternal ties which unite us;

Commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the establishment of CARICOM-Cuba
diplomatic relations acknowledging the CARICOM-Cuba partnership as an exemplary
model of fruitful and mutually beneficial South-South cooperation;

Affirm the importance of strengthening South-South cooperation as an expression of
solidarity among our countries and for the promotion of bilateral, regional and
triangular cooperation and programs for development, within the framework of the
development priorities of our countries;

Highlight the importance of our active participation within CELAC, to address
common challenges and advance unity in diversity based on regional consensus;

Acknowledge that the presidency of Cuba of the Group of 77 and China during 2023
is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the synergies between the
CARICOM and G-77 agendas to promote the development of their members, and
foster solidarity and international cooperation;

Recognise with appreciation the medical cooperation between CARICOM and Cuba
and its invaluable contribution to the wellbeing of Caribbean people; in particular,
the significant contribution of the Cuban Medical Brigades to the fight against the
COVID-19 pandemic;

Agree to share best practices in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and
other epidemiological conditions common to the Caribbean, and continue to assess
the potential for the application of innovative Cuban biotech medicines for the
prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in CARICOM
Member States;

Recognise that the invaluable cooperation between CARICOM Member States and
Cuba in areas such as health, education, agriculture, human resource development
and capacity building, construction, sports, and disaster risk reduction and mitigation
has significantly contributed to both national and regional development and
enhanced the wellbeing of our peoples, and agree to further strengthen cooperation
in these areas;

Continue to collaborate on the implementation of the Center for Stimulating the
Development of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs in
Guyana;

Renew efforts towards the establishment of the Regional School of The Arts in
Jamaica;

Reaffirm the importance of promotion of sustainable tourism as one of the key
priorities for economic growth in the Caribbean region, particularly in the context of post COVID-19 recovery efforts, and renew our commitment to strengthening cooperation in this area, including through the implementation of multi-destination tourism in accordance with the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding on Multi-Destination Tourism, as well as, resilience building within the sector between the government of Cuba and CARICOM Member States signed at the 6 th CARICOM- Cuba Summit in 2017;

Reaffirm our commitment to finding avenues for promoting economic and
commercial relations by identifying our strengths and possible complementarities,
and by implementing and applying the Second Protocol to the CARICOM-Cuba Trade
and Economic Cooperation Agreement;

Acknowledge that recent global developments such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the
ongoing multidimensional global crisis, to which the negative effects of the hostilities
in Ukraine are added, have exacerbated existing inequalities in food and energy
security among other areas. We therefore welcome the CARICOM Agri-Food Systems
Agenda aimed at strengthening the current food and nutrition security in the region
and achieving the 25 by 2025 Vision for reducing the region’s dependence on
imported foods;

Agree to collaborate to promote food and nutrition security of our peoples;

Express deep concern that critical economic sectors, infrastructure, the
environment, and lives continue to be adversely affected by Climate Change and call
for an intensified global effort to keep global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees above
pre-industrial levels.

Public and private investment to address loss and damage and
build resilience necessitate urgent access to adequate, predictable, affordable
climate financing, at scale, to achieve climate resilient development.

We lament, however, that the current international climate change architecture is in urgent need of reform.

It is not responsive to the climate resilience requirements of SIDS, particularly Caribbean SIDS, for which the impact of climate change poses an existential threat. We welcome the Agreement at the COP 27 to provide loss and damage funding for vulnerable countries by climate change;

Note and support the Bridgetown Initiative which calls for reform of the
International Financial Institutions to more equitably provide for Climate Vulnerable
and Developing Countries.

Call for the simplification and streamlining of access criteria across donors and
multilateral funds to facilitate greater inflows of climate finance to the region, taking
into account the unique and special circumstances of SIDS;

Urge international financial institutions to take effective measures to strengthen the
global financial safety net, assist SIDS in addressing their debt vulnerability and in
attaining debt sustainability as soon as possible, as well as to enhance preferential
access to development financing by incorporating a multidimensional vulnerability
index (MVI) as a complementary criterion for determining access to concessional
financing and official development assistance;

Express deep concern over the inclusion of certain CARICOM Member States on lists
of non-cooperative jurisdictions in respect of tax governance and AML-CFT
deficiencies and call for a change to this approach which negatively impacts the
economies of those countries that have shown their readiness to cooperate and
engage in dialogue to find mutually advantageous solutions for the parties;

Express deep concern over the progressive decline in correspondent banking
relations being experienced by developing nations, in particular CARICOM Member
States, due to the de-risking actions by some of the major international banking
institutions, and the worsening impact this is having on the financial stability and
trading ability of the affected countries which constrains their efforts to achieve
socioeconomic growth and sustainable development;

Highlight the importance of reparations and compensation, as an act of justice, for
the damages caused by slavery, indentured servitude and native genocide in the
Caribbean;

Reject the imposition of unilateral coercive measures and, in that context, call for an
immediate and unconditional end to the economic, commercial, and financial
blockade implemented by the Government of the United States of America against
Cuba. We reiterate our firm rejection of the enforcement of extra-territorial laws
and measures such as the Helms-Burton Act, which grossly violate international law
and undermine the sovereignty and interest of third parties;

Declare October 6 as the CARICOM- Cuba Day against terrorism in memory of the 73
people who died including CARICOM and Cuban nationals in the bombing of the
Cubana Airlines in the waters off Barbados on October 6 1976 and for which there
has been no accountability.

Reiterate the rejection of the unilateral lists and certifications that affect Latin
American and Caribbean countries; and in this regard, request the immediate
exclusion of Cuba from the unilateral list of countries that allegedly sponsor
international terrorism;

Express our gratitude to the Government and People of Barbados for the warm
welcome and hospitality afforded to us during the Eighth Summit of Heads of State
and Government of the Caribbean Community and the Republic of Cuba;

Decide to convene the Ninth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the
Caribbean Community and the Republic of Cuba; on 8 December 2025, in Cuba and
the Seventh CARICOM-Cuba Ministerial Meeting in a CARICOM Member State, in
2023.

Adopted in Bridgetown, Barbados, on the 6th day of the month of December 2022.

 

 

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