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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Caribbean and EU explore new initiative for development cooperation

The European Union is pursuing a new strategy with the Caribbean to explore avenues of development, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago. It said that Head of Division for the Caribbean Area to the European External Administration Service, John Caloghirou, recently held talks with Foreign Minister Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan to discuss the new “Joint European Union/Caribbean Strategy”. The statement quoted Caloghirou as saying that the new strategy would not “replace the Cotonou Agreement or the External Partnership Agreements”. According to the statement, Rambachan suggested that the EU consider focusing on other human rights issues pertaining to alleviating poverty for children, but that Caloghirou “explained that the Caribbean was relatively stable with regards to human rights with the exception of Cuba and that not much funding was allocated in this area”. The statement gave no further details of the new EU/Caribbean strategy, but said that the meeting also discussed the need to diversify regional economies with Caloghirou indicating that there “was an urgent need for the Caribbean to adopt a more modern approach that would be more beneficial”.