6th CELAC Summit Family Photo at the National Palace, Mexico City, Mexico. (Image courtesy Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs)

The 33 Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC) group have pledged and committed to working together to bring the region through the current COVID-19 crisis, among other crises impacting members countries.

Member States met over the weekend in Mexico City at the 6th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC) Heads of State and Government.  The 6th CELAC Summit was convened in Mexico as that country currently holds the Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC.  Trinidad and Tobago was represented by Senator Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs.

In the Political Declaration of Mexico City issued at the conclusion of the Summit, CELAC member states committed to, among other things: continue working to address the health, social, economic and environmental crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also expressed solidarity on a number of global issues including fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines; pointed to the need for affordable financing to facilitate economic recovery, as well as the need for universal multidimensional index to measure vulnerability to determine access to concessional financing.  CELAC members also called for strengthening the capacity for vaccine production in the CELAC region.

On climate change issues, they agreed to work towards combatting climate change, and strengthening the coordination on disaster risk reduction and management.

CELAC members also called for the rejection of all acts of terrorism, and underscored the importance of ICTs to foster development, among other things.

The CELAC Heads of State and Government also received messages from extra-regional partners of the European Council, ECLAC, the United Nations Secretary General and the President of the People’s Republic of China.

Several countries signed the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency Constitutive (ALCE) Agreement that will coordinate space-related activities of member countries and promote improvement in satellite communications systems, which can assist with mapping the region’s strengths, vulnerabilities and threats. The ALCE Agreement is open for signature by the remaining CELAC member states when each state is ready to do so.

Minister Browne and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Delegation also met with His Excellency Rodolfo Solano Quiros, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, in the margins of the 6th CELAC Summit. The discussions focussed on increasing collaboration in the multilateral fora, including ECLAC, for which Costa Rica currently holds the Chairmanship.