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Need for Greater Coherency Identified Among COFCOR Members

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - As regional Foreign Ministers brought the curtains down on their 5th meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in St. Lucia on Tuesday, May 7, 2002, the need for greater coherence among CARICOM states has again been underscored. The latest admonition has come from Guyana’s Foreign Minister and Outgoing Chairman of COFCOR, the Honourable Samuel Insanally. Minister Insanally noted that development partners and multi-lateral agencies were accusing CARICOM states of inconsistencies in dealing with them.

“The message they say vary with the messenger and thus for example what our Foreign Ministries may be saying to them is not in consonant with the views of our Ministries of Finance. Of Course this is simply to divide us but to the extent that the accusation may hold some truth, we must work to harmonize our public positions. Admittedly the search for such coherence may task our time as well as our energies but in the end it may prove rewarding,” said Insanally. He has also called for greater clarity in the implementation of regional policies.

Meantime the incoming Chairman of COFCOR, St. Lucia’s Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation Senator Julian R. Hunte has endorsed the comments of the Guyana Foreign Minister, although lauding the region for its united stance in championing the Hatian situation.

According to Senator Hunte, “our prior perceived dormancy on that issue made certain international actors believe that the opportunity had presented itself for them to implement their agenda for Haiti. This was certainly a wake up call for the Community. The unified position adopted to help our sister nation of Haiti is now well documented. The result of this demonstration of unity is that within the Organization of American States (OAS), CARICOM is now consulted before any decision is taken on Haiti.”

As the two-day COFCOR meeting ended in St. Lucia it was anticipated that the participants would arrive at a framework to address regional and global issues.


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