The Tenth General Meeting between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its associated institutions and the United Nations (UN) system was convened at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, on 23 and 24 July 2019. Opening remarks were given by the Secretary-General of CARICOM, His Excellency Irwin LaRocque, and by the Head of the UN Delegation, His Excellency Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. The Meeting, which enjoyed wide participation from representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat and its associated institutions and from representatives of the UN system, was co-chaired by Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations of the CARICOM Secretariat, and Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, in his remarks, congratulated participants on the achievement of the tenth anniversary of the Biennial Meetings between CARICOM and the United Nations. He recognized the numerous and diverse areas of cooperation between the two organisations in support of improved and more sustainable development that can provide a better quality of life for the people of the Caribbean Community. In thanking His Excellency Antόnio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his recognition of the various challenges and constraints of Small Island Developing States and his continued support as expressed earlier this month in Saint Lucia, Ambassador LaRocque reiterated his confidence in the strong foundation of partnership between CARICOM and the UN. He recognised the Tenth General Meeting as a symbol of the convergence being sought in addressing global sustainable development issues and called for increased recognition and innovation in addressing the specific challenges and vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States.
CARICOM Secretary-General , Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
In his message, ASG Miroslav Jenča noted how much the General Meetings have contributed to the development of strong cooperation ties between CARICOM plus its associated institutions and the UN system; both organizations could be proud of the great achievements that the cooperation had yielded. The multi-agency cooperation of the UN with CARICOM regarding its laudable initiative to adopt and implement a Counter-Terrorism Strategy was but one of many examples of how the cooperation had become ever more operational. In an illustration of how the cooperation and the enthusiasm about it was growing exponentially, the UN was represented at the 2019 General Meeting by more than twice as many representatives as at the 2015 General Meeting in Georgetown. ASG Jenča underscored how CARICOM and the UN shared many priorities ‒ the fight against climate change being a particularly prominent one.
Discussions were held against the framework of the repositioning of the UN Development System ‒ particularly the review processes of the configuration, capacity, resource needs, role, and development services of the Multi-Country Offices (MCO) for the region. The Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group for Latin America and the Caribbean and UN Assistant Secretary General, Luis Felipe López-Calva underscored that the UN Development System reform was now better positioned to support the Caribbean to achieve Agenda 2030. Also, the Meeting emphasised the need for inclusive and transparent consultations on the MCO review.
The Meeting highlighted the importance of collaboration, especially in targeted agreed priority areas, and the harmonisation of activities and information sharing in attaining the required objectives and results. In view of the importance of regular communication, the Meeting agreed to explore opportunities, including the use of virtual technology, for periodic exchanges between Biennial Meetings, recognising that the effective application of existing tools provided by UN and the implementation of an effective communication Plan are immediate ways of enhancing the CARICOM-UN working relationship for achieving tangible results and outcomes.
Read the Joint Statement of the Tenth Meeting between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), its Associated Institutions and the UN System.