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Japan, Caribbean nations agree to cooperate on climate, Haiti

Kyodo News

Japan and 13 Caribbean nations agreed in Tokyo on Thursday to cooperate with each other in curbing global warming and offering support to quake-hit Haiti among other issues at their first meeting in a decade, a Japanese official said.

The ministerial meeting of Japan and member countries of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, also underlined Tokyo's renewed pledge to help those nations recover from the global economic crisis and deepen cooperation on global issues such as nuclear disarmament and the reform of the United Nations Security Council.

On climate change, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada urged Caribbean nations to endorse the Copenhagen Accord that resulted from a key U.N. climate conference last December and aim for the adoption of a comprehensive accord to tackle the phenomenon, the official said.

Caribbean nations said they have already been suffering from the adverse effects of climate change, such as a rise in temperature and more frequent hurricanes, and called for financial aid to deal with natural disasters, she said.

In a document released after the ministerial meeting, participants confirmed their intention to work toward an agreed outcome at the next U.N. climate conference in Mexico in November and December to adopt a new, ambitious and comprehensive legal document to establish a fair and effective international framework to address climate change.

On assistance for Haiti, Japan and CARICOM member states confirmed their commitment to the medium- and long-term reconstruction of the country, according to the document. At the meeting, Haiti called for private-sector participation in the reconstruction efforts, the official said.

The Caribbean countries also asked for Japan's assistance to recover from the financial crisis, saying their economies have been slumping with declines in revenues from tourism, their major industry, and in remittances from expatriates.

The participants also reaffirmed their cooperation over international issues including nuclear disarmament, U.N. Security Council reform and North Korea's nuclear ambitions, according to the paper.

As part of the Japan-CARICOM partnership program, which will be implemented in the next three years or so, Japan pledged to dispatch a public-private joint economic mission to discover potential business opportunities in the financial and tourism sectors.

Tokyo also said it will promote the ''one village, one product'' initiative to boost trade and investment in CARICOM member states through the development of local industries.

Under the initiative, local communities promote efforts, such as developing human resources and marketing expertise, to make unique local products globally competitive to help boost their economies.

Okada and his CARICOM counterparts agreed that they will review the implementation of Japanese assistance under the partnership program in their next meeting, but did not set an exact timeframe.

The Japanese minister said the Japan-Caribbean talks should have been held more frequently. The first meeting was held in Tokyo in November 2000.

CARICOM comprises Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Delegates of Saint Kitts and Nevis were absent from the meeting as a hurricane was approaching the country, according to the official.

Japan aims to deepen cooperation with the Caribbean nations to win their support for its bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and seek their understanding of Japan's position as a whaling nation and of its efforts to promote nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, she said.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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