CARICOM, Saudi Arabia to explore cooperation in health, tourism, energy, other areasย 

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President Dr Irfaan Ali and other officials at the first CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit

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At the kind invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Leadership of Saudi Arabia and the Leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met in Riyadh, on 16 November 2023 for the inaugural Saudi Arabia-CARICOM Summit.

The Summit was co-chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, with the participation of Heads of State and/or Government of CARICOM and the CARICOM Secretary-General.

Reaffirming their mutual interests and friendly relations, the leaders exchanged views on issues of common interest and discussed ways to further expand and advance their partnership to take advantage of the growth opportunities that can be utilized through cooperation between their two dynamic regions based on a shared vision and the values embodied in the United Nations (UN) Charter.

The leaders hereby declare to:

1. Join efforts to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity, through mutual respect and cooperation between countries and regions, to achieve sustainable development and progress and maintain the rules-based international order based on adherence to international law and the UN Charter.

2. Undertake consultations and explore cooperation on specific areas of common interest between both sides, namely education (scholarships), health, maritime cooperation, connectivity, logistics, food security, energy security, tourism economic and other possible areas of cooperation, where appropriate, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

3. Strengthen ties between the two sides, at the multilateral and bilateral levels, and in global fora by pursuing opportunities for sustainable development, peace, security and stability, tourism infrastructure development, as well as creating business opportunities in the ICT/Global Digital Services sector and boosting trade and investment flows by creating mutually beneficial opportunities for joint investments, with special emphasis on sustainable infrastructure, renewables, trade, tourism, logistics, and connectivity.

4. Promote trade and investment relations between Saudi Arabia and CARICOM, by enhancing public-private partnership and business-to-business relations between both regions, using available and new physical and online platforms, trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, and dialogue.

5. Support Saudi Arabiaโ€™s bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, highlighting the importance of organizing regional and international exhibitions to reenergize economic and cultural exchanges between the Saudi Arabia and CARICOM, mindful that individual CARICOM Member States have pledged their support for Saudi Arabiaโ€™s candidature to host Expo 2030.

6. Cooperate in the development of sustainable and circular agriculture and in the promotion of sustainable food production, sustainable use and management of water resources and promote trade and investment opportunities in food and agri-based industries and encourage the exchange of information, sharing of experiences, research, modern technologies and best practices, as well as through conducting capacity building activities.

7. Promote dialogue among the peoples and cultures of both sides to enhance trust, and advance mutual understanding and greater respect for diversity, thus contributing to a culture of peace.

8. Build on the two regionsโ€™ cultural diversity, openness and rich history to stress that tolerance and peaceful coexistence are among the most important values and principles for friendly relations between nations and cultures.

9. Promote the cultural and creative industries of CARICOM and Saudi Arabia through cultural festivals, art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, book fairs and other events. Furthermore, encourage the exchange of best practices and capacity building in the areas of museology, protection, conservation and restoration of cultural and historical heritage.

10. Promote cooperation in the area of tourism, including heritage, cruise, sustainable and ecotourism, medical and wellness, tourism, by undertaking benchmarking activities, joint tourism investments, and strengthening capacity-building.

11. Stress the importance and urgency of promoting joint action towards mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts, protecting the environment and developing low carbon and clean energy technologies.

12. Reaffirm the importance of working together to confront the global challenges related to climate change, committing to all efforts to address this urgent issue by setting and achieving ambitious goals to reduce emissions, adopting renewable energy production, and clean technologies including for abatement and removal, promoting equitable promoting equitable access to climate financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to support mitigation and adaptation measures, and finding innovative technical solutions that will accelerate the transition to low-emission economies, and continuing to explore sustainable and inclusive pathways to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement.

13. Welcome Saudi Arabiaโ€™s Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), and its announcement to establish and host a dedicated MGI Secretariat and allocate US $2.5 billion to support MGI projects and governance.

14. Support the announcement by Saudi Arabia about the establishment of an international water organization based in Riyadh, calling for further decisive global action.

15. Stress the important role that CARICOM and the Saudi Arabia can play in hosting major sporting events, the Summit endorsed the candidacy of Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup. And Welcoming that the Caribbean will host the ICC T20 World Cup in 2024 and Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

16. Recognize the important initiatives arrived at by Saudi Arabia and CARICOM in their respective regions, and decided to hold the Second Saudi Arabia-CARICOM Summit in 2026.

17. CARICOM Leaders expressed their appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to the Government and People of Saudi Arabia for their hospitality.

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