UK, Caribbean Agree on Action Plan

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 24, 2012

Above: delegates at the 7th UK-Caribbean Forum (Photo: FCO)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The recently-concluded UK-Caribbean Forum in Grenada saw the two sides agree on an action plan covering several themes, including economic resilience, security, climate change and sustainable development.

The forum, which saw what UK Foreign Secretary William Hague described as the largest ministerial delegation to the Caribbean in “many, many years,” was highlighted by the announcement that the UK Department for International Development would fund the region with $7.6 million for climate change response.

That funding comes as part of a $116.7 million development programme in the Caribbean this year, according to the UK.

“It’s given us an opportunity to talk about the issues that I think matter to ordinary people in the islands across the Caribbean on a day-to-day basis,” said Jeremy Browne, UK Minister for the Caribbean.

Another major priority at the forum was security, particularly the fight against illegal drug trafficking. The two sides agreed to enhance collaboration and coordination in the anti-drug fight, along with greater intelligence sharing, criminal justice reform and targeting the proceeds of crime.

The UK additionally agreed to help the Caribbean to more effectively engage with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

“We had, really, I think some substantial conversations that were very rich in their content, in places, quite candid, about the positions for the different people sitting around the table,” Browne said. “I think it’s very deliberate that this is called an action plan — what we have produced at the end — because we have wanted to make sure that what has taken place here over the last few days is not seen in isolation — it’s not just an opportunity for people to exchange views but it does provide a framework for continuing activity.”

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