Regional leaders call for unity between Central America and the Caribbean – Love FM


As mentioned, the CARICOM SICA Summit resulted in the adaptation of the San Pedro Joint Declaration, with commitments to strengthen consultation on foreign policy; actively collaborate on socio-economic development issues, including tourism, trade and investment; and strengthen cooperation on climate change and public health. The chiefs also signed a revised CARICOM-SICA action plan adopted by the foreign ministers of the two regions last month. The action plan highlights specific areas of joint dialogue and engagement for implementation, evaluation and follow-up. It seems like a long list, but according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, there is still a lot to do. In fact, FM Mouynes says both regions must realize the power and strength that can be exhibited if unity is truly achieved.

Minister Erika Mouynes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama: “It’s not only that it’s been 11 years, but there’s also something very important happening in the world, something very serious and very difficult. So the fact that 22 countries are coming together cannot help us. escaping and the power and the message that it sends is also extremely important, so we have to embrace it and understand it. As we return to this near normality, we have to figure out how we are going to focus our energy. How we are going to focus our attention and think of it now as a means of survival because there is no margin for error What we were hearing before I want to make it even more serious and deeper because the pandemic itself has left us a terrible toll. Having only 8% of the population, we now have 27% of deaths. So 8% of the population, 27% of deaths, it is a terrible terrible ticket that we all carry, that we all share and we all have to think about it and the same in f ait, probably worse has also happened with vaccines. We were all struggling to try to find these vaccines and to have access to them, unequal access, while other countries were able to meet their needs faster and better and the health situation also plunged us into one of the worst recessions, economic recessions and since we are now trying and struggling to get out of this economic recession, the situation in Ukraine sends us back and it will probably do worse as we understood with the price of oil, with fertilizers, everything that we we need for our survival, for our agriculture. As we try to recover and at this pivotal time, we need to think about how do we use the power of 22 states here together? And in each multilateral platform, we can step in as a blog* and we can set the pace or not and we can be proxies for others to decide what they want to do with us. So it’s an incredible moment, an important moment to establish a common agenda. Central America and the Caribbean are unbeatable in this hemisphere. We know it and we don’t use it. The agenda, the common agenda, if it is at the end, the only means of survival for our region and we must embrace it and ensure that we come out of it stronger, more powerful and grateful for what we can make. We are, as we heard, one of the regions, in the end, that contributes the most to this planet in terms of climate, yet has some of the harshest consequences and there are multiples and millions of dollars that are mobilized daily and they don’t come to our area. Again, Central America and CARICOM together can make a tougher market for them.

Prime Minister John Briceno echoed Panama’s speech, also calling for greater unity, especially at a time when world events can profoundly affect developing countries in the Caribbean and Central America.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize, President, CARICOM:

“The scale of the crisis we are facing, whether it is climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, migration, unsustainable debt levels or transnational organized crime, cannot be resolved by any of the sub-regions, alone or together. These challenges are global in scope but have serious regional ramifications for which we lack the resources and capacity to overcome. Our sub-regions are highly dependent on international cooperation and the multilateral system at a time when global governance is under severe strain. Our challenges are systemic and structural. These challenges require urgent attention and solutions. The international financial system, as it currently functions, refuses to finance the countries that most need grants and concessional financing, countries like ours. G20 efforts to advance reform of the global financial system, including the inevitable phase-out of fossil fuels, have been lackluster. Developed countries have failed to provide sufficient climate finance to countries like ours that need it most. Many of our countries have struggled to access COVID-19 vaccines despite a plethora of pledges to make vaccines available. Even in this state of fragmentation, there is no substitute for multilateralism, especially for nations like ours. We are therefore counting on you, Mr. Secretary-General, on your leadership to reform, renew and revitalize the United Nations system and the wider multilateral system, and I can assure you that you can count on our support to achieve our common agenda.

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Queseda also called for unity. President Alvarado said the two regions must work closely together to achieve important goals.

Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica: I would like to make an intervention with the essential elements that unite us and with what we must work on and my proposal to the Heads of State and what we must do is ask our teams to work. 1. Action plans, SICA-CARICOM action plans to come together. I believe there are two key areas to this: 1. Connectivity. I believe everyone has experienced it, we can share in previous meetings how we sometimes have to travel to other parts of the world to find a connection in order to reach our own countries. If we have a closer bond between our countries, we can do many other things. Also our language, the efforts of a multilingual. I believe that the most important area today in what we should work on together is in our voice, in our common voice.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined the leaders at the opening of the CARICOM-SICA summit.


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