Commitment of Bridgetown: Partnership for Prosperity and Security
We, 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, meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 10, 2010, pledge to strengthen our cooperation in responding to the challenges we commonly face, in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.
We recognize the diversity yet shared identity of the people and states of the Caribbean and the United States. We are bound together by our social and economic ties, shared history, culture, and geography, our commitment to the values of democracy and respect for human rights, and our determination to achieve social justice, stability, and security for all of our peoples.
To meet the common challenges of the 21st Century, we declare our intention to act in concert to improve the social and economic well-being of our peoples, to ensure the safety of all our citizens, to advance towards a secure and clean energy future, and to defend and strengthen our democratic institutions.
Cooperation and Assistance to Haiti
We affirm our support for and solidarity with Haiti and stand in partnership with its people. In accordance with the priorities of the Government of Haiti, we are committed to supporting Haiti in its reconstruction efforts, and the building and strengthening of its institutions and human capacity. In this regard, we urge states that have not already done so to honour commitments made in order to ensure that the projects identified in the Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti can receive well needed funds within the time frame as agreed by donor countries. We reiterate our support for and cooperation with Haiti in the organization of the forthcoming electoral process to ensure a democratic transition.
Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation
We celebrate the launching and reaffirm the commitments made at the recently concluded Caribbean-U.S. Dialogue on Security Cooperation (CBSI) in Washington, D.C, on May 27, 2010, including the adoption of three key documents that guide our new security partnership:
The Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles that reflects our joint political will to address our shared security priorities and responsibilities to our citizens and to work together to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice;
The Caribbean-United States Plan of Action on Security Cooperation that establishes the concrete and practical ways we plan to partner in reducing crime and violence and in strengthening our institutions; and
The Joint Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement that defines how we plan to partner with each other to effectively address our strategic security priorities.
Firm in our conviction that stable and prosperous economies, buttressed by the rule of law, are bulwarks against the forces of transnational crime, we acknowledge our common concern over the growing strength and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels, their attempts to distort and weaken our economies and democratic systems, and the effects which their activities and presence have on the safety of our citizens and the levels of violence in our societies. Through the CBSI, we declare our resolve to collaborate as partners in combating both organized transnational crime and the threat posed to our states and our citizens. We also pledge to work together through CBSI to address the social and economic factors that contribute to crime in our societies.
In addition, we declare our intention to strengthen our cooperation in the following areas:
Energy Security and Climate Change Cooperation
Ensuring energy security and mitigating the impact of climate change are fundamental to our sustainable development, long term prosperity and stability. We underscore our commitment to cooperating under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and to identifying new areas for partnership in the following areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, infrastructure, energy poverty, sustainable forests and land use, and adaptation.
We reiterate our shared commitment to addressing climate change, recognizing the special vulnerabilities of small island and low lying states to the social, economic and environmental impacts of this global phenomenon. We are cognizant of the need for urgent and decisive actions on climate change and, reaffirm our commitment to work toward the successful conclusion of negotiations within the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To this end, we stress the importance of stepping up financing of mitigation and adaptation measures.
We are concerned about the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the impact that this is having on the lives and livelihood of persons in the affected areas of the United States. The U.S. and the Caribbean will cooperate to protect our marine environment and share information to mitigate any potential impacts in the region.
We underscore our commitment to work together to promote the health and development of our people. We note the continuing HIV/AIDS emergency in the region, and reaffirm our commitment to implementing the United States-Caribbean Regional HIV and AIDS Partnership Framework. The Framework will strengthen the efforts of governments, regional organizations, and national health systems in reducing the incidence of HIV and AIDS among populations most at risk and provide treatment to those affected by the disease. The Framework will strengthen the efforts of governments, regional organizations, and national health systems to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS among populations most at risk and provide treatment to those affected by the disease.
We reiterate the importance of paying greater attention to non-communicable diseases which have the highest mortality rates and are particularly heartened by the international support for the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the issue in September 2011.
Trade and regional economic integration are fundamental to prosperity and sustainable development of the Caribbean region. We reaffirm our commitment to deepen and diversify our trade relationships, as well as to ensure that the benefits of growth and trade are widely shared within our societies. We welcome the recent extension of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act for a further ten year period, recognizing that continuation of preferential access to the U.S. market for Caribbean products will help to stimulate growth and job creation in the Caribbean countries.
Impact of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis
We note the important efforts being made by the United States Government to effect economic recovery and introduce reform of financial and economic infrastructures in order to prevent economic crisis and financial instability. We also note the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on the economies of the Caribbean. We will work, as appropriate, in coordination with the relevant international institutions and organizations to improve the effectiveness of aid and development cooperation with middle-income states. Recognizing our interdependence in the global economy, we pledge to work together in our recovery efforts.
We stress our commitment to maintain regular dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State to meet the common challenges we face and advance the security and prosperity of our peoples.