CARICOM, UK Government sign MOU on Establishment of Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism

CARICOM SG, Dr. Carla Barnett and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Rt. Hon. James Cleverly sign the MOU in Kingston, Jamaica on 18 May 2023
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CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett and United Kingdom Secretary of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Rt. Hon. James Cleverly, on Thursday, 18 May, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a consultation and cooperation mechanism.

The MOU was signed at the 11th UK-Caribbean Forum in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Mechanism will have a range of objectives including the deepening of the level of mutual understanding, and building on shared values and support for the rules-based international system; anchored in the United Nations Charter and International Law.

Strengthening consultations concerning bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest; promoting the expansion and diversification of trade and investment flows based on existing agreements, including the UK-Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) Economic Partnership Agreement; and coordinating and advocating on addressing climate change, are other objectives.

Among the other objectives are collaboration on improving access to finance for Small Island Developing States (SIDS); coordinating and advocating to addressing climate change; strengthening collaboration on regional security and governance, and fostering cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction.

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland accredited to CARICOM and the Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations of the CARICOM Secretariat will co-chair the Mechanism. Meetings between the two sides will be held at least once a year.

Please read the Memorandum of Understanding below:

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on the one part and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the other part (hereinafter referred to as “the Participants”);

            Wishing to strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation existing between the Participants;

            Recognising the desirability to deepen and diversify the cooperation between the Participants;

Recognising the desirability of deepening and diversifying relations between the Participants;

            Convinced of the importance of promoting bilateral cooperation across a range of fields including, but not limited to, shared values, prosperity and economic trade, access to finance, security, climate change vulnerability, food security, disaster preparedness, transportation, youth engagement, and cultural exchange;

            Have come to the following understanding:

PARAGRAPH I

PURPOSE

            The Participants will establish a Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as “the Mechanism”) to facilitate consultation and cooperation between the Participants in the fields of mutual interest.

PARAGRAPH II

OBJECTIVES

            The Mechanism between the Participants will have, inter alia, the following objectives:

  1. To deepen the level of mutual understanding and build on our shared values and support for the rules-based international system; anchored in the United Nations Charter and International Law;
  • To strengthen consultations concerning bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest;
  •  To promote the expansion and diversification of trade and investment flows based on existing agreements, including the UK-Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) Economic Partnership Agreement;
  • To coordinate and advocate on addressing climate change;
  • To collaborate on improving access to finance for Small Island Developing States (SIDS);
  • To strengthen collaboration in the area of regional security and governance;
  • To foster cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction;
  • To strengthen, expand and diversify economic, technical, and commercial relations between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and CARICOM Members in areas such as trade, investment, industry, energy, agriculture, and tourism.
  • To support the UK-Caribbean Forum process of biennial meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, CARICOM Members, and the Dominican Republic, including the effective implementation of UK-Caribbean Forum Action Plans and other  agreements and arrangements among UK-Caribbean Forum Members;
  1. To foster cooperation between technical institutions in CARICOM and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and
  2. To make recommendations in the case of CARICOM to the Governments of its Member States and in the case of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to its Government on necessary measures to enhance bilateral cooperation.

PARAGRAPH III

MEETINGS

            The Participants will hold meetings of the Mechanism at the level of Senior Officials at least once every calendar year.  The composition of the delegation to these meetings will be determined by each Participant.

The Mechanism should see the attendance of Heads of relevant CARICOM technical institutions as well as relevant policy, programme and other government officials from both Participants.

The meetings will take place at the CARICOM Secretariat with the Agenda decided upon through diplomatic channels.  If necessary, meetings of the Mechanism may be held in a third country or virtually subject to agreement by the Participants.

The Mechanism will be co-chaired by the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland accredited to CARICOM and the Assistant Secretary General, Foreign and Community Relations, of the CARICOM Secretariat.

Ahead of future UK-Caribbean Forum meetings, the Participants will use the Mechanism, where appropriate, to review the pledges made in UK-Caribbean Forum Action Plans and Communiqués. The Participants will work together to ensure that commitments are collectively implemented in the spirit of deepening and strengthening the links between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and CARICOM Members. If necessary, the Participants will ensure meetings are de-conflicted with the UK-Caribbean Forum.

A Communiqué will be jointly decided and published following any meeting of the Mechanism to provide direction to the Participants’ engagement and ensure timely compliance with decisions made in furtherance of the objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding.

PARAGRAPH IV

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this Memorandum of Understanding will be settled amicably through consultation and/or negotiation between the Participants.

PARAGRAPH V

VALIDITY, TERMINATION AND AMENDMENT

            This Memorandum of Understanding is concluded with a view to enhancing and developing cooperation between the Participants and does not constitute an agreement binding upon the Participants under international law.  No provision of this Memorandum of Understanding, will be interpreted and implemented as creating legal benefits, financial or other commitments for the Participants.

            This Memorandum of Understanding will come into effect on the day of its signature and will continue to have effect for a period of one year.  It will be automatically extended for subsequent periods of one year, unless one of the Participants informs the other in writing of its intention to terminate this Memorandum of Understanding no later than three months prior to its termination.

            This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended, in writing, by the joint decision of the Participants. The amendments will become effective on the date of their signature by both Participants. .

            In witness thereof, the undersigned being duly authorised by the Participants have signed this Memorandum of Understanding.

            Done and Signed in ………………………………on the … day of ………. in two originals in English, both texts equally valid and equally authentic.

FOR THE CARIBBEAN                             FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF  

COMMUNITY (CARICOM) THE UNITED KINGDOM OF THE GREAT

BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

CARLA N. BARNETT PhD CBE            THE RT HON. JAMES CLEVERLY, MP

SECRETARY-GENERAL                         SECRETARY OF STATE FOR

                                                                        FOREIGN, COMMONWEALTH AND

 DEVELOPMENT AFFAIRS

          

      

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