Trinidad and Tobago: In the 32nd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), PM Keith Rowley discussed Re-Setting US-Caribbean Relations.
PM Rowley stated, CARICOM also joined now President Joe Biden, when he was Vice President, in 2013 on security, human advancement, and energy matters in Trinidad and Tobago with sequential encounters in Washington DC focussing on energy. The Caribbean Basin Initiative, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative remain invaluable in collaboration and partnership.
We are now in the time of the US-Caribbean 2020 Engagement Strategy – a Multi-Year Strategy to enhance the Security, Prosperity, and Well-Being of the People of the United States Caribbean. It is to the credit of the drafters, in a pre-Covid-19 era, that the main tenets of the current blueprint for engagement are security, diplomacy, prosperity, energy, education, and, of course, health.
This juncture in time is an excellent opportunity to reset relations between the United States and our Region on these very issues.
Furthermore, he added that CARICOM wants to work alongside the US and other international partners within a robust multilateral framework to build back together and ensure that no one is left behind. On February 17, the United Nations Secretary-General regretted that “just ten countries have administered 75 percent of all coronavirus vaccine while more than 130 countries have not received a single dose.” We applaud his resolve to mobilize the entire UN apparatus to support a Global Vaccination Plan and bring together all those with the required power, expertise, and production capacities to achieve this outcome.
Additionally, We in CARICOM expect to take our first doses sometime around mid-March. So far, all we have received are 170,000 doses gifted to a couple of nations from India’s Government. Barbados and Dominica, who received these gifts, graciously shared them around to many of us. This was done by them even as others with millions of doses that they can’t use immediately refuse to make way for others at the manufacturers.