Trinidad and Tobago participates in the Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CELAC – China Forum
5 February 2018
PORT OF SPAIN: 5TH FEBRUARY, 2018
Senator the Honourable Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs called on the People’s Republic of China and the Member States of CELAC “to look closely at where we need to join forces and cooperate on the basis of a shared destiny, shared interests and shared rewards.” He further emphasized that “from climate change to human rights, from peace and security to food security, we are so much stronger when we support each other and face these complex challenges as joint tenants of planet earth.”
The call was made during his Plenary Statement at the Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CELAC-China Forum which was held in Santiago, Chile on 22nd January, 2018 under the theme, ‘CELAC-China: Working for more development, innovation and cooperation for our peoples.’
Recognising the importance of the theme, Minister Moses underlined that the Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CELAC-China Forum was an expression of the continued growth and deepening of the relations between the Latin American and Caribbean region and the People’s Republic of China. He further stated that “the two sides are natural partners in development, innovation and cooperation and we all stand to benefit from advancing an agenda to leverage the potential of collaboration in these important areas.”
Focusing on the adoption of the China-CELAC Action Plan 2019-2021, which identifies goals and activities which, if properly implemented, should lead to concrete results in critical areas such as Policy and Security; Trade, Investment and Finance; Infrastructure and Transport; Agriculture; Environment and Climate Change, Minister Moses gave special attention to the area of security, given Trinidad and Tobago’s responsibility for this topic in the quasi-Cabinet of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In this regard, he outlined that for Small Island Developing States, nontraditional security concerns such as climate change, added to the traditional and inherent ones such as human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in firearms and weaponry, and the proliferation of criminal gangs, have heightened the tension between scarce resources and vast needs.
Minister Moses concluded his address by commenting on China’s initiative for a modern-day silk road, known as ‘One Belt, One Road (OBOR), which is a major element of Chinese policy. He pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago welcomes the Belt and Road initiative as an opportunity to strengthen ties with China, and cited that this country highly values the positive implications of this initiative for people-to-people contacts, cultural exchanges, trade and tourism.
On the margins of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CELAC-China Forum, Minister Moses also participated in the following meetings:
(i) Trinidad and Tobago/ His Excellency Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China;
(ii) Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CARICOM countries/ His Excellency Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China;
(iii) Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CELAC; and
(iv) Caucus of CARICOM Foreign Ministers.
Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs
Click to view official media release document- CELAC-China Meeting