UN, Caribbean bloc work out regional assistance needs

14 April 2004

In a two-day meeting between the United Nations and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the regional body called for assistance with protecting intellectual property rights, coordinating agricultural policies with global policies and building local capacities for combating small arms smuggling.

In a joint statement issued today on the 12 to 13 April meeting, the two organizations said they needed to put in place "further cooperation on regional security efforts among the UN, CARICOM and the OAS (Organization of American States) in early warning, conflict prevention, peace-, confidence- and security-building measures."

These would include projects to help the 15 CARICOM members "to ratify disarmament-related treaties and to build national and regional capacities for combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons."

"Security threats - from political violence through money laundering to drug trafficking and smuggling - have serious consequences for the functioning of the region's economies, for governance and stability, and for social well-being," UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette had told the third general meeting.

Protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) would also "promote wealth creation and social and cultural development" in the region, the statement said.

A CARICOM report of August 2001 on IPRs says regionalization and trade liberalization have positive and negative effects on access to local genetic resources and traditional knowledge and the regional negotiating skills to be used in various international forums must be strengthened.

The joint statement pointed out the need for an enhanced agricultural policy, as well as "further cooperation on sustainable land development and efficient marine management to ensure food self-sufficiency."

 

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