Johnson Smith to discuss Brexit, post-Cotonou era with CARICOM foreign ministers

Friday, May 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica's Foreign Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith will join her Caribbean Community (CARICOM) counterparts at the 20th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), to continue discussions on a strategic and coordinated regional approach to a changing international environment.The two-day meeting, slated for May 18-19 in Bridgetown, Barbados, is the primary platform for CARICOM foreign ministers to propose ways to strengthen the region's foreign policy coordination to achieve tangible development outcomes.

Brexit remains a topic of focus, with the Council set to continue discussions on possible implications for CARICOM-UK relations and CARICOM's relations with the other twenty-seven European Union (EU) member states. The Ministers will examine possible effects that the UK's withdrawal from the EU could have on their current development cooperation and trade and investment arrangements within the Caribbean.

The council will also discuss the upcoming expiration of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020, the framework for EU's relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), and the future of the group.

Other matters on the agenda include CARICOM's bilateral relations with other countries, and CARICOM's participation in the multilateral and hemispheric fora, namely the United Nations (UN), the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Minister Johnson Smith will lead a small delegation of ministry officials responsible for regional affairs.

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