Secretary Clinton, Carribbean Counterparts Discuss Security Cooperation, Trade and Development

Posted by Ruth Urry
June 2, 2009
CARICOM Officials Greet Secretary Clinton in Honduras

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryAbout the Author: Ruth Urry serves as Alternate Representative, U.S. Delegation to the Organization of American States.

The air is steamy, and everyone is standing around anxiously. It's but a few moments before the Secretary arrives for her breakfast meeting with the foreign ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and we've worked hard to get everything prepared for her arrival.

This meeting, held on the margins of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OASGA), is an important opportunity for Secretary Clinton to discuss with her counterparts the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. President Obama has requested $45 million from Congress to fund this initiative, which is dedicated to the strengthening of regional security by addressing transnational threats. Trade and development are also on the agenda, as we recognize the link between development and human prosperity.

As we are scurrying around, setting up the final touches, participants start poking their heads in. First, the cameramen start arriving, and then the print journalists. The foreign ministers begin arriving, and their ambassadors. They all know each other well, so they begin mingling. It has the atmosphere of a class reunion, since these ministerials are a chance for all of the foreign ministers to catch up in the same place. The CARICOM foreign ministers meet on a regular basis since so many nations in the Caribbean share similar interests in the fields of security, trade, the economy, and the environment. Tourism is a mainstay of many of the Caribbean economies.

Secretary Clinton sought this meeting with CARICOM because she wanted to build on the positive momentum established at Summit of the Americas when President Obama met with his Caribbean counterparts in April. The Secretary will encourage CARICOM to work with the U.S. Trade Representative to convene a Trade and Investment Council (TIC) meeting later this year. She will also promote increased cooperation between CARICOM and the United States on regional security issues, such as the upcoming Caribbean-U.S. Dialogue on Security Cooperation to be held later this year. Meetings such as these are important because the Secretary can exchange views with delegations on issues of mutual concern, in a frank setting.

All of a sudden, we hear the signal that the Secretary has arrived. We hear her entourage coming up the steps, we're positioned in front of the head table, and are ready for action!



New York, USA
June 2, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

DoS can do much to assist CARICOM with HIV/AIDS, Healthcare, Drugs and Arms (and Human) Trafficking, Poverty, Violence and regional stability. Let's get on with it!

Kentucky, USA
June 3, 2009

Lisa in Kentucky writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton do you believe you accomplished what you wanted at this OASGA security meeting. If you did accomplish you're feat how will it help America? In what ways?

New Jersey, USA
June 3, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Thank you for the post, Ruth, and for taking such good care of things, for our SOS. I know she works very hard, and it is good to know that her colleagues at State are also working hard to help her set and meet her agenda.

I know this was a very ambitious endeavor. Hillary, you take on more than I have ever seen a Secretary of State assume - and I am your age - that's a lot of Secretaries of State! I wish you the best in meeting your objectives. Stay well and safe for us. I know that we know only a fraction of what you are working on down there, and we couldn't be in better hands. Believe in you and love you!

Patricia S.
New York, USA
June 3, 2009

Patricia S. in New York writes:

Yes, I agree with Ron in NY - "Let's get on with it."

California, USA
June 3, 2009

Brian in California writes:

I concur with Rosemary. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton has made all Americans proud and represented equally. We also have a Secretary of State that's elegant and most importantly, Hillary is brilliant.

God Bless the United States of America.


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