by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – For the first time in eight years, heads of state from the European Union and the Caribbean will meet to discuss future relations between the regions.
The EU-CELAC Summit will be held in Brussels from July 17 to 18.
In a joint communication, the High Representative and the European Commission set out a New Agenda for Relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-CELAC).
The key areas for the :
- A renewed political partnership;
- Strengthening common trade agenda;
- Rolling out Global Gateway investment strategy to accelerate a fair green and digital transition and tackle inequalities;
- Joining forces for justice, citizen security and the fight against transnational organised crime;
- Working together to promote peace and security, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and humanitarian aid;
- Building a vibrant people-to-people partnership.
St. Kitts and Nevis will be participating in the meeting, and the delegation includes Prime Minister Hon. Dr Terrance Drew, Foreign Affairs Minister, Rt. Hon. Dr Denzil Douglas; Environment and Climate Action Minister, Hon. Dr Joyelle Clarke; Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ms Kaye Bass; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ms Naeemah Hazelle; and Press Secretary Mrs Adelcia Connor-Ferlance.
One of the standout key areas scheduled for the meeting is the Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA).
According to a press release from the European Commission, the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA) “is a political commitment to work together, identifying fair green and digital investment opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will benefit from the open environment generated by trade and investment agreements and will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Essentially the agenda seeks to provide investment opportunities for renewable energy efforts, transport infrastructure projects, digitalisation for public services, sustainable forest management, health manufacturing, education and skills, sustainable finance and more that contribute to developing sustainable countries.
The EU and the Caribbean will also discuss security challenges within the regions, especially Haiti, and the larger geopolitical environment.
During the July 13 Prime Minister’s Press Conference, Foreign Affairs Minister Rt. Hon. Dr Denzil Douglas addressed some key areas for the Federation going into the meeting.
“The critical issues for us, some of which are still being debated and ironed out before appearing in the final document, was firstly for our regional concern, the matter of reparations as a demand that has been pursued by the Caribbean Community in recent times for the act of slavery committed against people of African descent who were sent into the Caribbean and into other parts of the world. This is an area still of controversy because, of course, others do not wish for this matter to be finally entered into the final document.”
Dr Douglas continued, “Also, I should say correlated to this is the matter of the Atlantic Slave Trade that there are some views that this should not be appearing on the final document, especially since this is a matter that is being pursued at the moment by the United Nations. Similarly, there are views that the matter of identifying the main causative agent, I would say, for the war in Ukraine that is being pursued by Russia, that this also should not be a matter that should not appear in the final document. I made mention of these matters in particular because they impact directly on St. Kitts and Nevis in terms of the unsettled view that would emerge from this particular summit.”
Other important agenda items for St. Kitts and Nevis include Climate Change impact and access to financing as grants.
See the full explanation of the agenda topics here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_23_3045