PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, July 7, 2023: The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Caribbean Development Bank have agreed to deepen their collaboration on sustainable development in the Caribbean region.
An arrangement was reached during a meeting between the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, and the President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Hyginus Leon, held in Port-of-Spain on 4 July 2023 on the margins of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.
Through this collaboration, both organisations will explore combining expertise and resources to undertake joint activities to promote good governance, economic growth, climate action and technological innovation in Commonwealth countries that are members of the Caribbean Development Bank.
Speaking about the agreement, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, said:
“Climate change, debt burdens, and the aftermath of the pandemic have converged to create a perfect storm of devastation. No one is more affected than small states, particularly those in the Caribbean, facing long-lasting implications for their development trajectories. And we know we have a better chance of success in tackling these challenges if we work together.
“Therefore, we are delighted to build a strong partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank. By pooling our expertise, knowledge and resources, we aim to support small states in their efforts to address their development challenges and improve the lives and livelihoods of people throughout the Caribbean, ensuring no one is left behind.”
The President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Hyginus Leon, said:
“The Commonwealth Secretariat has been a valued and steadfast partner to CDB and the entire Caribbean region. Our organisations share a common vision and purpose in advancing the agenda of developing countries, and it is through collaboration and mutual support that we can achieve significant progress.
“Our collective efforts must be centred around evidence-based decision-making and transformational actions. By leveraging our expertise, resources, and networks, we can effectively address development challenges faced by our region, especially in the areas of technological innovation and climate action.
“CDB is committed to working closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat to drive the region’s development agenda, promoting sustainable economic growth, enhanced resilience, and improving the livelihoods of the people in the Caribbean. Let us forge ahead with determination, guided by our shared values and aspirations, towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all”.
Possible areas for collaboration and joint action include assisting countries to protect the ocean and the environment, harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence to unlock economic opportunities, and improving the performance of government operations and services.
The activities will support knowledge-sharing, exchange of expertise, capacity-building and joint resource mobilisation to drive sustainable development in member countries.