High on the agenda for the meeting was a discussion on greater collaboration between the OECS and CARICOM on several areas of mutual interest. Key among the issues discussed were Agriculture and Food Security, Inter Regional Trade and Climate Change.
Dr. Jules pointed to the need for more equitable access to regional markets by OECS producers. He stated,
‘’The mechanisms of CARICOM need to work equitably, taking into consideration the vulnerabilities of the smaller member states.’’
This led into discussions on the upcoming Agri-Investment Forum and Expo scheduled for May 19th-21st in Guyana, and the opportunities to be gained by OECS Member States and stakeholders.
Both Dr. Jules and Dr. Barnett noted the need for greater collaboration between the two Organisations, especially in the area of climate change.
According to Dr. Barnett,
‘’It is essential that we have greater collaboration on how we deal with climate change in the region. This will require a much more coordinated and consistent approach at a political level.’’
The CARICOM Secretary General’s visit to the OECS Commission formed part of an Official Three Day Visit to Saint Lucia.