Sustained development may be attained only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. And, that is the message Prime Minister Freundel Stuart believes must emanate from the Third CARICOM Mexico Summit.

Mr. Stuart expressed this view yesterday while addressing the opening ceremony of the Third CARICOM Mexico Summit, in Merida, Mexico.

He said the spirit of dialogue and co-operation in which the two sides engaged should be an example for all to emulate at a time when there was heightened global tensions, citing in particular, the Ukraine and the Middle East.

???But those problems give us an opportunity to strengthen our determination to make the Caribbean a zone of peace and to present our region as a model for harmonious relations,??? he suggested.

The Prime Minister was one of three speakers at the opening ceremony, including the President of Mexico, Enrique Pe??a Nieto, and the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. All speakers struck themes of climate change, in particular disaster risk management, agriculture and the vulnerability of small island developing states.

President Nieto outlined the areas which would be the focus of the technical cooperation between Mexico and CARICOM, which included assisting technology-based companies, as well as lending support in agriculture, health and the teaching of Spanish.??The President stressed that the cooperation was a major element of his country???s involvement with the Community and stated that development of the region should be ???done for and among ourselves???.

Ambassador LaRocque said CARICOM and other small island developing states (SIDS) looked forward to the support from countries such as Mexico in the global arena as they sought to foster the resilience of (SIDS) as a key objective of both the upcoming SIDS Conference in Samoa and in negotiations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Mexico, he added, had demonstrated their understanding of the peculiarities of SIDS.

???This has been evident in the areas of technical cooperation which have been the focus of collaboration between Mexico and CARICOM, and importantly most of these areas have been prioritised by our Community,??? the Secretary-General pointed out.??A Joint Declaration will be issued at the end of the Summit.


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