UNESCO has strengthened its ties with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with the group, which includes 15 member countries and five associate members – mainly Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The new Agreement was signed at UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris. It provides a framework for cooperation in a range of areas, including:
- promotion of education as a fundamental right, focusing on inclusive quality education, effective learning programmes and strengthening of health education;
- further Implementation of the Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States;
- cooperation in the assessment of natural hazards;
- support to heritage preservation, heritage education and stronger institutional capacities in the development of national cultural policies; and
- cooperation in the promotion of freedom of expression as a basic human right.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, signed the Memorandum with Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Secretariat. She thanked him for his commitment to enriching cooperation and looked forward to deepening this partnership on the basis of shared values and common objectives.
“We have accomplished so much together and we can do much more,” stated the Director-General. “This is the spirit guiding the new Memorandum of Understanding.” It is the third Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNESCO and CARICOM. The first agreement between the two Organizations was signed in 1980, and this new agreement underlines the strength of a partnership that has existed for over 30 years.
CARICOM works to promote economic integration and cooperation among its 15 member States -- Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. During this General Conference, Anguilla, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean, was admitted as an Associate Member State of UNESCO.