BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 23, 2022—The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) Special Session was convened on 22nd September 2022. The Rt Hon. Dr Denzil Douglas deliberated with his CARICOM counterparts on the pressing issues connected to the UN agenda and with which the Caribbean Community is currently confronted.
The robust agenda included a substantive item on the Situation in Haiti and the CARICOM Secretariat updated the Council on the efforts by CARICOM to serve as a facilitator among the stakeholders in Haiti. This discussion concluded with the CARICOM Foreign Ministers pledging their support to the Haitian-led approach to de-escalate the civil unrest in Haiti.
The Foreign Ministers also discussed priority issues for the Caribbean region including the financing for development mechanisms, the United Nations Climate Change Conference—COP27. The work of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), currently chaired by Antigua and Barbuda, including a progressive mandate to end plastic pollution was also discussed.
Additionally, the development of a Multi-dimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) received focused attention. The MVI is an approach being developed to address the way in which the income status of small island developing states is measured as well as how development aid is allocated. Saint Kitts and Nevis as a CARICOM Member State and a small island developing state has vigorously and consistently advocated for this approach over the years. The Foreign Ministers were satisfied with the progress with regard to the MVI over the last year.
The implications of the COVID19 pandemic and other infectious diseases as well as other aspects of the global health and foreign policy agenda were also debated. Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew is the lead in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet on health matters.
Foreign Minister Dr. Douglas was pleased with his first COFCOR Special Session which afforded him the opportunity to meet and engage with his Caribbean counterparts.