Minister Vince Henderson assumes chairmanship of COFCOR, voices for shared cooperation

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vince Henderson, has assumed the chairmanship of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) during its 27th meeting in Dominica.

Minister Vince Henderson assumes chairmanship of COFCOR, voices for shared cooperation
Minister Vince Henderson assumes chairmanship of COFCOR, voices for shared cooperation

Roseau, Dominica: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vince Henderson, has assumed the chairmanship of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) during its 27th meeting in Dominica. The meeting kickstarted on Thursday and will be held over the next two days.

Vince Henderson delivered the remarks and outlined the importance of unity which is the profound strength of COFCOR. He added that with the developmental vision, the global challenges such as climate change and food security should be tackled.

Minister Henderson added ,” The action-oriented agenda before us reflects the complex realities of our time, indeed our region has to navigate the evolving global landscape as we address pressing regional issues such as climate change, energy, food, and nutrition security.”

Outlining the significance of the collaboration, the Minister added that the collective voice and shared purpose are crucial as the COFCOR undertakes its work and provides policy guidance in advancing the shared vision and development goals.

The Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of CARICOM forging new or international relationships as a priority. “Our increased engagement with emerging partners such as those in the Middle East and the presence of our friend from Qatar is a testament to that, underscoring our enduring commitment to maximize opportunities for the region’s benefits.”

He further talked about south-south cooperation and said that the relationships will provide great benefit in south-south cooperation as the global south are very important group of countries that they need to continue to engage.

Minister Henderson extended an invitation to the state of COFCOR for engagement with the council, reflecting the belief in multilateral cooperation and support of shared priorities.

In keeping with the concept of embracing new opportunities for cooperation, Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit headed an inaugural CARICOM Saudi Arabia Summit in November last year. To which, Minister Henderson added, ”As foreign ministers, we must promote an environment that enables increased opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and strategic partnerships.”

He added that over the next two days, the deliberations will address several critical issues to build a more resilient. The Foreign Minister added that the presence of foreign ministers in Dominica signifies a strong commitment to strengthening community ties and collaboration.

“I am appreciative of the fact that so many member states are here today with the exception of Haiti.”

Over the next two days, the Foreign Affairs Ministers will among other things give attention to the issue of development cooperation with countries outside CARICOM. During the meeting, the council will review important engagements with third states and will be briefed on plans to commemorate 2024 CARICOM Japan friendship year.

Minister added,”We will also receive details on the schedule for other technical level engagements due this year with Brazil, Canada, India, and Korea which will chart our development cooperation with these states.”

He outlined that the council will continue to reflect on the geopolitical concerns directly affecting sustainable development and review upcoming international meetings. The meetings will include the Commonwealth heads of government and the summit of the future.

“Among the breath of issues demanding our attention is that of support for our sister nation of Haiti including the good offices function. On this, we are reminded of the meaningful progress yielded thus far and I encourage you to remain steadfast in our principled support on hemispheric and multilateral matters,” said the minister.

The meeting was also attended by Carla Benett- Secretary General of CARICOM who congratulated Minister Henderson for assuming chairmanship of COFCOR.

On the margins of the meeting, the State of Qatar and the Commonwealth of Dominica also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish political consultations between the ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries.