Caribbean foreign ministers urge global solution to COVID-19 pandemic

CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque

GEORGETOWN, Guyana  – CARICOM foreign ministers have agreed on the need for global solutions to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as well as re-emphasising the importance for the region to speak with one voice through the coordination of foreign policy.

A communique issued at the end of the two-day 24th virtual meeting of the CARICOM Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) on Friday night, noted that the ministers also agreed on the need for global solutions to the various challenges facing small island and low lying coastal developing states.

The two-day meeting, chaired by Belize Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay, also reiterated the 15-member regional grouping’s support for Guyana and Belize with regards to their border disputes with Venezuela and Guatemala respectively.

Meanwhile, the United States has reaffirmed its “unwavering commitment” to work with CARICOM.

A White House statement said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday spoke with CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque and foreign ministers from the 15-member grouping.

“Mr Sullivan reaffirmed the Biden-Harris administration’s unwavering commitment to work together with the Caribbean region on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, advancing economic recovery, addressing climate change, and strengthening regional democracy and security,” the statement said.

The Caribbean is among regions severely affected by COVID-19, registering thousands of deaths and infections since the first case was detected in March last year.