Joint Press Release on the U.S.-Caribbean Ministerial Meeting

Following is a joint statement of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.

On June 22, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, met in Montego Bay, Jamaica to reaffirm the Caribbean-U.S. partnership in several key priority areas. The meeting addressed the common challenges as outlined a year ago in Bridgetown, Barbados and served as an opportunity to review the progress made in the past year, and discuss the road forward.

In a spirit of partnership and mutual respect, a broad range of issues impacting their countries were discussed, including regional security, economic development, social inclusion, energy, food and nutrition security and climate change. The United States and Caribbean countries reaffirmed a shared commitment to work together through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) partnership to reduce illicit trafficking in drugs, small arms and ammunition, increase public safety and security, and promote social justice. Since the June 2010 Bridgetown meeting, CBSI partners have concluded a series of technical working groups and collectively identified several key security priorities. The United States and the Caribbean have made progress in remedial education and jobs skills training for youth, juvenile justice reform, anticorruption, border security, prison reform, police professionalization, regional data sharing, drug demand reduction, and maritime interdiction capacity – all priorities identified by the CBSI partnership. They have had discussions on the issues of repatriating criminal deportees to their home countries and note the need to continue addressing these issues. The participants look forward to further progress in addressing identified priorities as they prepare for the upcoming Second Annual Dialogue on regional security issues in November in The Bahamas.

The participants reaffirmed their solidarity with the people of Haiti and their commitment to supporting Haiti in its reconstruction efforts and the strengthening of its institutional and human capacity in furtherance of its sustainable development.