Latin America and Caribbean Foreign Ministers Meet In Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Integration and development issues are to be discussed by Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Latin America and the Caribbean (CALC) at their meeting in Jamaica on Friday, November 6, 2009.

The Meeting is being chaired by Dr Kenneth Baugh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica. In focusing on issues pertaining to the integration and development of the Latin America and Caribbean region, it is expected that much attention will be given to current global challenges such as the ongoing economic crisis and energy, food and climate change issues.

The Ministers will also discuss concrete proposals for the implementation of the Salvador Declaration, which emerged at the first Summit of Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean in Brazil in December 2008. The Declaration highlights the importance of regional integration as a tool for attaining sustainable development, eradicating poverty and promoting social justice and democracy.

The CALC Ministerial meeting was preceded by a meeting of Senior Officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, November 4th and a meeting of the Rio Group on Thursday, November 5, 2009. The 24-member Rio Group is a mechanism for regional dialogue and political consultations, in the advancement of integration.

The major focus at this meeting was on matters pertaining to major political developments in the region, efforts to expand and strengthen its membership, and the agenda for the body’s next summit, which is scheduled to take place in Mexico in 2010. Jamaica as the current representative of CARICOM in the Rio Group represented the Community in the discussions.

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