BASSETTERE, ST. KITTS – The Caribbean and Spain have pledge to further strengthen the stable, friendly and strategic partnership between both countries which is based on the common values of respect for the principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights, as well as the promotion of sustainable development.
A joint statement issued at the just concluded 35th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at which the Spanish Prime Minister His Excellency Mariano Rajoy Brey, was a guest, both nations will ensure that these values as well as a fundamental recognition of the special circumstances and needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and of Small Highly Indebted Vulnerable Middle Income Countries (SHIVMICS) continue to underpin the political, economic, cultural and development relations that are the substance of our relationship.
Caribbean nations and Spain have agreed to give priority to advancing the fight against poverty, the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity and the environment in general and working together to address the negative impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) including through the swift capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund.
CARICOM Member States thank Spain for its contributions to the development of SIDSnet and its major financial contribution to the organisation of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in September 2014.
The Caribbean and Spain will advocate for a multilateral rules-based system of international trade; one that includes special and differential treatment for small vulnerable economies, and that facilitates their integration into the global economy and will ensure that the specific needs and vulnerabilities of Middle Income Countries (MICS) are taken into account on the part of the different international and cooperation agencies, including the criteria for classification as MICS.
It was also agreed to work to achieve a satisfactory solution to issues that are especially sensitive for CARICOM countries, particularly the diversification of the EU’s eligibility criteria for CARICOM Member States’ access to the 11th EDF Funds and increasing commercial exchange and investment between the region and Spain, particularly in the tourism industry and the energy sector, as a means of facilitating job creation and the economic development of the recipient countries .
It was also agreed to intensifying their cooperation to promote shared goals within the framework of multilateral fora. In this respect the Governments of the CARICOM Member States and of Spain welcome the degree of harmony they have achieved within the United Nations framework.
Spain thanks the CARICOM Member States for studying the merits of Spain’s candidacy to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2015-2016.
CARICOM and Spain commend the work of the Third Meeting of the CARICOM-Spain Joint Commission held on 19 and 20 May 2014 in Georgetown, Guyana, which established the criteria for a more efficient Spanish Cooperation, with greater impact on the wellbeing of the region’s peoples.
“We note the three priority areas for cooperation for the period 2014-2018 agreed by the Commission, namely Economic Growth, Security and Development and Democratic Governance. CARICOM welcomes Spain’s having organized a High-Level Seminar on Tourism for CARICOM countries in Madrid between 11 and 15 June 2014. Aware of the growing importance of sustainable tourism, and the large amount of experience accumulated by Spain and the CARICOM Member States in this field, both Parties shall continue to share their mutual experience to develop this sector to the fullest,” said the joint statement.
CARICOM Heads of Government also welcomed the increase in the amount contained in the CARICOM-Spain Joint Fund as yet another indication of Spain’s commitment to advancing cooperation with CARICOM States.
Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community and Spain acknowledge with satisfaction the fifteen year milestone of the formalisation of relations between CARICOM and Spain which was inaugurated by the conclusion, in Trinidad and Tobago, in July 1999, of the Scientific and Technical Cooperation Agreement, clearly reflecting both Parties’ commitment to maintaining a strategic long-term partnership.