Jamaica, EU engage in political dialogue

Sunday, February 12, 2017

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Jamaica and the European Union (EU) have committed to strengthening the collaboration on building a more effective partnership for growth and development. This affirmation was made during the third Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday.

In her opening remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said the partnership between EU and Jamaica remains strong and that the EU has made a significant contribution to Jamaica’s development and the wider Caribbean region.

She further noted that the meeting is an ideal platform to identify the areas in which collaboration can be strengthened to achieve the most effective results in the interest of sustainable development.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, head of the EU Delegation, said the dialogue is needed to examine ways in which the EU can better assist the partnership with Jamaica. She reiterated the commitment of the EU and a joint vision for the future, noting that creating alliances is important in addressing global challenges.

Important issues discussed included political and economic developments in Jamaica and the EU; highly indebted middle-income countries; crime and security; human rights; future of ACP/EU relations post 2020; de-risking and correspondent banking; and environment and climate change.

Ambassador Wasilewska described the talks as a constructive exchange of ideas and said she looks forward to continuing the dialogue next year. Both sides identified key areas for follow up and action.

The dialogue, which took lace in the margins of the ministry’s Diplomatic Week, was held at the level of senior officials, with Jamaica’s delegation led by Ambassador Marcia Gilbert Roberts, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and the EU side by Ambassador Wasilewska.

Ambassador Wasilewska was joined by resident EU representatives Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as non-resident Ambassadors from Finland, Ireland, Sweden and The Netherlands. Representatives from Ministries, Departments and Agencies also participated in the meeting.

The dialogue, which is required under Article 8 of the ACP/EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement states that "Parties shall regularly engage in a comprehensive, balanced, and deep political dialogue leading to commitment on both sides." The last Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue was held in 2014.




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