Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will lead Jamaica’s delegation to the second summit meeting of Heads of State and Government of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the 33-member regional grouping of Caribbean, Central American and South American countries representing 600 million people. The discussions to be held in Brussels, Belgium on June 10 and 11, will focus on the future of cooperation between the EU and the countries of CELAC under the theme, “Shaping our common future: working for prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens.”
An estimated 61 Heads of Government will also discuss matters related to international security. The discussions will inform the summit’s outcome documents – “The Brussels Declaration” and “A Partnership of the Next Generation.”
The EU is a major investor in the CELAC region and a leading trade partner.
The dialogue with representatives of the EU in Brussels is of particular importance to Jamaica as our country has had a long and successful relationship with the EU spanning 40 years. Over this period, the EU has contributed an estimated J$170 billion in development assistance to Jamaica for projects and programmes covering a wide range of areas. These areas include education, agriculture, security, justice reform, public financial management, tax reform, small business development, poverty alleviation, youth and community development, rural development, physical infrastructure and climate change.
Some specific programmes in recent times have included the Sugar Transformation Programme,the JS1.7 Billion Sugar Estates Barracks Relocation Project, the Banana Support Programme and construction of the North-Coast Highway.
Last year the EU allocated 46 Million Euros in development assistance to Jamaica under the 11th European Development Fund. The EU is the main source of grant funding to Jamaica and the main provider of development aid worldwide.
The Brussels Summit will receive reports from the Seventh CELAC-EU Trade Unions Forum and the Eight Meeting of CELAC-EU Civil Society held in March this year; as well as the Youth Forum held in April and the First Forum of Mayors, which was held on June 4. Reports will also be received from the EU-CELAC Academic Summit to be held June 8 to 9 and an EU-CELAC Business Summit scheduled for June 10.
Jamaica’s national trade and investment agency, JAMPRO will be represented at the business summit and the University of the West Indies will participate in the academic summit.
The Jamaican delegation will include Prime Minister Simpson Miller; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. AJ Nicholson; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ms. Onika Miller; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Paul Robotham; and Manager of Export Development at JAMPRO, Ms. Marlene Porter.
The Prime Minister will travel from Jamaica on June 7 and return on June 13. During the period of the Prime Minister’s overseas engagement the Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill will be in charge of the Government.
Published Date: June 8th, 2015
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