On the Invitation of The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Prime Minister Phillip Davis, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Frederick Mitchell, joined Heads of State and Government from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at a summit with Canada to fortify the long-standing and significant relationship between the country and the Caribbean region and to discuss pressing issues of mutual importance.
The Canada-CARICOM Summit, which was co-chaired by Prime Minister Trudeau and Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica and sitting Chair of CARICOM, commenced in Ottawa on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, and will conclude Thursday, October 19, 2023. The Summit focuses on four main themes: Climate Change and Resilience, Access to Finance, Regional Security, and Trade and Investment Relations.
On the first day of the Summit, Prime Minister Davis and the Bahamian Delegation continued the country’s leadership in the global conversation on Climate Change. The Summit is the latest in a progression of interventions in which The Bahamas has advocated for a rethinking of Global Climate Finance and urgent access to Loss and Damage funding for Small Island Developing States (SIDs).
The Prime Minister and delegation built upon his statement at the UNFCCC Caribbean Heads of Government meeting in Grenada last month and the recent OAS Declaration of Nassau, Inter-American Climate Change Action Plan, and OAS Declaration of The Bahamas on Climate Finance in The Americas. The Prime Minister highlighted the region’s fatigue with the Global North’s unmet commitments on Climate Change and underscored the need for a new mechanism to enforce these commitments. He urged Canada to support the region in insisting that developed nations honor their financial and carbon emission commitments.
He furthermore underscored the link between climate change and cost-of-living, noting that the crisis has impacted global energy usage and cost, food security and prices, and the cost of borrowing in climate-vulnerable nations like The Bahamas. He warned his colleagues not to delay action, as it will cost the people more in the long run.
The first day also focused heavily on the rapidly deteriorating situation in Haiti, where Canada has been a prominent international partner to CARICOM in addressing the unrest. The Bahamian delegation joined CARICOM in reiterating support for Haiti and advocating for a Haitian-led solution. The Bahamas also reaffirmed support to the CARICOM Eminent Persons Group which will be returning to Haiti at the end of this month in its mandates to map a path to free fair elections and a longer-term solution for stability.
The second day of discussions will be led by Bahamian High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency V. Alfred Gray and is expected to focus on Trade and Investment between the regions and Canada and deepening the existing friendship.