Caribbean seeks Mexico’s help to access concessionary funds


Barbados prime minister, Freundel Stuart (File photo)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Wednesday April 30, 2014, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are looking to Mexico for assistance in reversing a decision by developed countries to re-classify the regional states thereby limiting their access to access to vital concessionary and development financing.

The CARICOM leaders are here attending the Third CARICOM-Mexico summit and the Sixth Summit of Heads of State and/or Government of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) that ends later on Wednesday.

CARICOM Co-chairman and Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said that Mexico’s membership of the G20 provides an important platform for it to promulgate the views of small states such as thos of the Caribbean, “thus enabling a greater understanding and acceptance of the peculiar circumstances which apply to us”.

He said the 2008 global economic and financial crisis has exacerbated the economic challenges faced by CARICOM member states and that “many are struggling under high debt burdens.

“Their classification as middle-income, upper-middle income, or high-income countries limits access to vital concessionary and development financing,’ Prime Minister Stuart said, adding “CARICOM will continue to advocate for an alternative measure of development to that of GDP per capita, and for these measures to take into account the overall conditions of our vulnerability and resilience in the context of sustainable development.

“We will continue to need Mexico’s valuable support in that endeavour,” he said.

Stuart said he was also pleased that over the past year, the international community had taken “a major step towards improving the ability to harness the illegal trade in arms, which has been a major contributor to the security challenges which we all face, with the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the UN General Assembly in April 2013.

“The task now is for us to work together to achieve its prompt entry into force and its full implementation as the first legally binding international instrument on conventional weapons trade. As that work progresses we will be seeking Mexico’s support for Trinidad and Tobago’s initiative to host the Treaty’s Secretariat.”

He said Mexico could be assured that CARICOM will also be looking favourably on its aspiration to host the first session of the Conference of States Parties to the Treaty.

“Few will be in doubt about the imperative need, at this time more than ever, for the Caribbean and Latin America to deepen our relations, particularly as they relate to the improvement of our trade and investment ties.

“It is within our capacity to demonstrate to all the value of South-South co-operation, and CARICOM and Mexico have an important role to play as pioneers with four decades of experience in that regard.”

Stuart also said that Mexico’s initiative in establishing the Infrastructure Fund for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean is a clear indication of its commitment to the development of the wider region.

“CARICOM is fully aware that its growth and development agenda will be significantly advanced through enhancing, in particular, its transportation and its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. Strategies to achieve these goals are being actively pursued,” he said, adding that the region took note of Mexico’s initiatives in ICT and transportation at the level of the ACS, aimed at bringing the region closer together.

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