Global crisis calls for increased cooperation between UN, CARICOM

NEW YORK – The United Nations (UN) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) needed to step up cooperation in the face of the current global economic and financial crisis and work to combat serious problems such as narco-trafficking and the accompanying violent crimes, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said Monday.

In this regard, the renewed cooperation between CARICOM and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime would have an important role to play, the Secretary-General said.

Delivering remarks at the start of Fifth General Meeting of the UN System and CARICOM at the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN Secretary-General noted the financial meltdown was harming competitiveness and welcomed the establishment of the CARICOM Task Force on lessening the effects of the global crisis.

The Task Force, chaired by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was established in January at the Thirteenth Meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) held in Barbados. It comprises representatives of the Ministry of Finance of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname, the Committee of Central Bank Governors, the University of the West Indies, the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce, the Caribbean Congress of Labour, the CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariats, the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance and the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery.

“We meet at a time of crisis. The world faces serious threats to food and energy security. The impacts of global warming are being felt with ever growing ferocity. The international financial system is in turmoil. These problems pose great challenges for Caribbean countries. Now more than ever we need to step up our cooperation,” the UN Secretary-General pointed out.

He acknowledged the lead that Caribbean countries had taken regarding climate change and expressed confidence that the two organizations could address both climate change and the economic crisis in tandem.

“The link between achieving economic prosperity and preserving ecosystems and natural resources is obvious to all Caribbean countries. For decades, you have been pushing for action on sustainable development. I urge you to press ahead with this campaign not only for your States and your region, but also for the world as a whole, Mr. Ban said.

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