By Caribbean News Global
OTTAWA, Canada – Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, opened the Canada-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit, “Strategic Partners for a Resilient Future”, hosted in Ottawa. Over the coming two days, leaders will advance shared work on fighting climate change, growing strong economies for the middle class, and strengthening regional security.
During the Summit, the prime minister will advance work to fight climate change and grow resilient economies. This includes a planned new commitment of up to $58.5 million in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to support renewable energy projects and $6 million through the Caribbean Climate Smart Fund for resilient renewable energy systems.
“For generations, Canada and the Caribbean have been bound together by ties of friendship, people, and business,” said the prime minister’s office – communications.
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Canada-CARICOM Summit Opening Remarks: 10:00 – 10:30 AST
Session 2 Opening Remarks: 13:00 – 13:10 AST
o Topic: Access to finance and global financial architecture reform, including
Session 3 Opening Remarks: 15:30 – 15:40 AST
o Topic: Building a Secure and Equitable Hemisphere
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Trade and Investment – Opening Remarks: 10:30 –10:40 AST
Closing Press Conference: 13:30 – 14:00 AST
At the Summit, leaders will also discuss steps to strengthen regional security, including responding to the ongoing crisis in Haiti. To support Haitian-led solutions, Canada will build on previously announced assistance and launch a multi-year training program for the Haitian National Police (HNP) to help tackle gangs, strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms, and support the protection of Haitians afflicted by gang violence. Canada will also allocate $3.4 million of previously approved funds to address firearms violence in Haiti as well as support the HNP armoury and armorers.
To keep people safe across the region, Canada will also invest $3.2 million for the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap to address firearms trafficking and proliferation, and deepen coordination between the Canadian Armed Forces and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to provide rapid delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Prime minister Trudeau underscored Canada’s commitment to support CARICOM countries on critical health resources. Canada will allocate $18.3 million from Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity to strengthen health and immunization systems and improve equitable access to vaccination in Haiti.
The Canada-CARICOM Summit continues tomorrow when the prime minister will host a trade and investment roundtable to bring together leaders and investors on new opportunities for workers and businesses in Canada and the Caribbean.
“Canada and the Caribbean are longstanding partners, sharing vibrant communities and close ties. Welcoming Caribbean partners to Ottawa for the Canada-CARICOM Summit is another chance to keep strengthening this relationship and continue delivering good jobs, a healthy environment, and a safe future for people in Canada and the Caribbean alike,” Prime Minister, Trudeau.
This Canada-CARICOM Summit is the first time a CARICOM Summit has been held outside the Caribbean, a testament to the bond between Canada and the region.
CARICOM is comprised of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The overseas territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Turks & Caicos Islands are Associate Members.
In 2022, Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with CARICOM countries reached $1.8 billion. In 2021, bilateral trade in services reached $3.9 billion.
During the Summit the Prime Minister will lead three sessions: Climate Change and Climate Resilience / Building Inclusive and Sustainable Economies; Access to Finance and Global Financial Architecture Reform; Regional Security and Haiti.
Canada is investing in a range of new support for the region including:
Climate Resilient Debt Clauses in all new sovereign lending, to provide relief to developing countries experiencing climate crises and natural disasters, first announced by the Deputy Prime Minister at the Annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank on October 14 , in Marrakech.
$10 million in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization to support resilient food and agriculture systems that provide opportunities for women.
$4.6 million in partnership with the Justice Education Society to address gender-based violence and protect the rights of women, youth and children in the Eastern Caribbean.
And $410,500 for a partnership between Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the University of the West Indies for high-quality, locally relevant data to support democratic, inclusive and equitable development in the Caribbean.
Since 2022, Canada has committed more than $300 million in international assistance to respond to the crisis in Haiti, sanctioned 28 individuals, and provided technical and tactical support to the HNP through the RCMP and the CAF.