AS of July 1st, 2018, Saint Lucia takes up Chairmanship of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) for one year until June 30th, 2019. At present, the twin island state of St. Kitts and Nevis serves as Chair.
The Chairmanship rotates annually, in alphabetical order, among the CARIFORUM States, thus making Saint Lucia next in line. Minister with responsibility for Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs – Honourable Bradly Felix, in his capacity as Minister for International Trade will serve as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM.
Established in the early 1990s, participating states of CARIFORUM include the fifteen CARICOM member states, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
The core functions of the Directorate of CARIFORUM include managing and coordinating relations between the Caribbean States which are signatory to the Cotonou Agreement; programming and managing the implementation of regional resources made available to the Caribbean Region by the European Union (EU) through the European Development Fund; coordinating the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA); managing CARIFORUM-EU Political Dialogue and promoting Intra-CARIFORUM Cooperation. The Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM is the highest decision-making body of this grouping.
On Thursday, June 28th, 2018, Hon Bradly Felix met with Director General of the CARIFORUM Directorate – Mr. Percival Marie to discuss issues which will require focused attention during Saint Lucia’s Chairmanship. Among the issues discussed were Governance of CARIFORUM; BREXIT; the ACP-EU Post Cotonou Relations; Status of EPA Implementation; CARIFORUM-EU Development Cooperation and the Future of the ACP.
Director General Marie indicated that Saint Lucia will have to provide political and technical leadership in those areas in order to have optimal and fruitful outcomes for the region.
Minister Felix added that, “Saint Lucia is ready to serve and provide the much needed direction and support to the region in fulfilling the goals and objectives of CARIFORUM and realizing the benefits of the trade agreements to which the region is signatory.”
The Director General also held discussions with the Honourable Prime Minister, senior officials of the public service and representatives of the private sector. (GOSL)