The Caribbean Community is a key United Nations partner in achieving our shared goals of development, security and human rights. I commend your strong commitment to multilateralism and regional integration, and your leadership on global challenges, including combating climate change, strengthening democracy, rebuilding after disasters and stopping the spread of global epidemics. I am grateful to the Heads of Government of CARICOM for their participation in last month's General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS, and I look forward to your continuing leadership at the September High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases.
The Caribbean region faces many challenges. These include the negative effects of the global financial crisis, the widening impacts of climate change, and the threats to governance and public safety posed by organized crime. Such transnational risks cannot be addressed by any single country on its own. Rest assured that the UN system has heard the region's call for more coherent engagement. This meeting provides a further opportunity to build on our long-standing partnership.
Our shared efforts to develop the UN-CARICOM Regional Strategic Framework have allowed us to map our activities in the region and identify areas of redundancy or duplication. I am pleased that the recommendations contained in the final report on the Framework were fully endorsed by both the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN system. Let us now work together to implement them.
The Caribbean region has made commendable progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, yet those efforts face significant challenges, including the increase in fuel and food prices. The questions of debt relief for middle-income countries and fair access to the global trading system therefore merit greater attention. I will continue to use every opportunity to raise these issues, including with the G8 and G20. More >>>
Location: Cayman Islands