On the last stop of her June 6-10 tour of Latin America, Secretary Clinton visited Barbados for the CARICOM ministerial meeting in Bridgetown. The Secretary was joined by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The leaders pledged to strengthen cooperation in responding to common challenges in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.
The CARICOM Ministers addressed health, trade, energy, climate change, and the global economic and financial crisis. The ministers affirmed support for and solidarity with Haiti and stand in partnership with its people. Read the ministers' joint statement here.
Secretary Clinton and the CARICOM Ministers also celebrated the launch of a major security partnership with the Caribbean -- the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative -- and affirmed the Department of State's commitment of $45 million to CBSI in 2010, with $79 million requested for 2011.
"We all know well that addressing transnational security challenges in the twenty-first century requires a comprehensive approach. CBSI means working together not only to strengthen national security forces and anti-trafficking efforts, but also focusing on broader citizen safety partnerships and social inclusion," Secretary Clinton told leaders of Caribbean states at a CARICOM ministerial meeting today in Bridgetown, Barbados.
"For all of us, the safety of our people must be our highest priority. That's why today we are committing ourselves to CBSI.... We've worked with Congress to identify over $45 million in funding for this effort this year. And we've asked for $79 million in next year's budget -- a $124 million commitment to CBSI over two years."
Read more about the launch of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) here.