Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines: St Vincent and the Grenadines hosts its first National Coordinators meeting virtually in its capacity as the Pro Tempore President of the Community of Latin American & Caribbean States (CELAC) on March 28, 2023, at 10:00 am Eastern Caribbean Time (virtual).
On March 28, 2023, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines chaired its first National Coordinators Meeting virtually at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
The meeting was successfully chaired by Dr Douglas Slater with the support of his staff from the CELAC Secretariat. Gustavo Martinez Pandiani, Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Argentine Republic, and National Coordinator of the Argentine Republic, the immediate past Pro Tempore President of CELAC, was present at the meeting, signalling the full support and solidarity of the Argentine Republic and the membership of CELAC with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ as Chair of the Community.
The Meeting of National Coordinators convenes in the country holding the Pro-Tempore Presidency unless States agree otherwise. These meetings coordinate dialogue and political consensus at the national level, facilitate regional integration, monitor cooperation on projects within the organisation, organise, coordinate and observe working groups, function as the preparatory body for the meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and report the findings of working groups to the Ministers.
National Coordinators serve as a link between the Member States and the Pro-Tempore Secretariat by coordinating and directly monitoring topics under discussion and meeting twice yearly before the Meeting of Foreign Ministers. Each country is assigned one National Coordinator and one Alternate or Deputy National Coordinator.
The first National Coordinators Meeting recorded participation from twenty-two Member States of CELAC, where a comprehensive work plan to guide the activities and initiatives for the year was presented by Andreas Wickham, Deputy National Coordinator of St Vincent and the Grenadines to CELAC and deliberated by the CELAC membership.
The agenda of the National Coordinators’ meeting also included a briefing to the CELAC Membership by Dr Douglas Slater on the upcoming CELAC- EU Summit, which is scheduled to convene in Brussels on July 17-18, 2023. This is the first CELAC-EU Summit in five years and will be co-chaired by Dr Ralph E Gonsalves in his capacity as the Pro-Tempore President of CELAC and Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.