Prime Minister Freundel Stuart chats with??the President of Mexico,??Felipe Calderon??,?? followed by Secretary-General of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque,?? before the opening ceremony of the 2nd CARICOM-Mexico Summit, today at the Hilton??Hotel. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says there is a need for constant multilateral coordination among governments to confront the various security threats that would have a negative impact on the island’s borders.

He made this call today while addressing the opening ceremony of the 2nd CARICOM/Mexico Summit at Hilton Barbados.

Emphasising that the issue of citizen security and transnational organised crime would be part of the high-level talks, the Prime Minister said it could not be addressed by unilateral or fragmented approaches.

Mr. Stuart said: "…We know well that successes in one geographical area may shift criminal activity elsewhere to areas perceived to be more vulnerable.?? Constant multilateral coordination and cooperation, and a high level of information exchange and shared experience, are therefore essential to face our common threat."

Apart from discussions on security issues, the Prime Minister said the Summit would provide an opportunity for an exchange of views on the newly formed Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and its role in the context of regional and hemispheric affairs.

Mr. Stuart said the original idea was to create an inclusive space for high-level dialogue and policy coordination among all the developing countries of the hemisphere. "Barbados supports the original concept because we believe, as do our CARICOM

colleagues, that it is important for developing countries of the hemisphere to have our own unique space to discuss strategic issues affecting our vital development interests and to develop meaningful south-south cooperation among ourselves.

Notwithstanding CELAC’s role, the Prime Minister warned that there would be no support for efforts to divert focus away from "these development objectives that would turn the new Community into an instrument of confrontation and attack against those hemispheric partners who are not among its membership".

He added: "Barbados believes that if CELAC is to succeed, then it must concentrate on building positive relations that already exist among us.?? It must also be sensitive to the nuanced positions of the sub-regions from which it is formed," Mr. Stuart underlined.

In this regard, Mr. Stuart described CELAC as an important complement to, and not a substitute for the Organization of American States, including the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and the Democratic Charter.


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