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Second PETROCARIBE Summit Montego Bay, Jamaica,
6th September, 2005
September 10th. 2005 -
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Read also - Text of PetroCaribe Agreement signed at Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela on 29 June 2005
1. The Second PETROCARIBE Summit was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on the 6th September, 2005, jointly hosted by The Most Honourable P. J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, and His Excellency Hugo Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The Summit was co-chaired by both Leaders.
2. Other Heads of State and Government in attendance at the Summit were: Honourable Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda; H.E. Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba; H.E. Leonel Fernandez Reyna, President of the Dominican Republic; Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; The Hon. John Osbourne, Chief Minister of Montserrat; Honourable Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis; Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
3. Heads of Delegations of other countries participating in the Summit were represented as follows: The Bahamas by Honourable Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service; Barbados by Honourable Anthony Wood, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities; Belize by Honourable John Briceño, Deputy Prime Minister; Dominica by Honourable Ambrose George, Minister of Public Works and Public Utilities; Guyana by Honourable Samuel Hinds, Prime Minister; Suriname by Honourable Dr. Gregory Rusland; Minister of Natural Resources and Trinidad & Tobago by Honourable Danny Montano, Minister of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development. The CARICOM Secretariat was represented by The Honourable Dr. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General and the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery by Dr. Richard Bernal, Director General.
4. The Summit was of particular historical significance as it coincided with the 190th anniversary of the famous and visionary "Letter from Jamaica" written by the revered American patriot and liberator Simon Bolivar. It was generally recognized that the spirit and intent of the PETROCARIBE Energy Cooperation Agreement was in keeping with the Bolivarian philosophy of freedom, political independence and prosperity.
5. The Summit was preceded by a preparatory meeting of Senior Officials and a Meeting of Ministers responsible for Energy which were held on the 4th and 5th September, 2005, respectively. These meetings addressed the establishment of the PETROCARIBE Ministerial Council and determined the Statutory Laws to guide the operations of PETROCARIBE, as well as approved the programme of work of the Executive Secretariat for the first year.
6. The main objectives of the Summit were to:
a. conclude bilateral agreements within the framework of the PETROCARIBE Energy Cooperation Agreement, signed in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on 29th June, 2005; and
b. establish the Ministerial Council that will govern the operations of the PETROCARIBE Energy Cooperation Agreement.
7. In addition, the Summit provided an opportunity to further enhance the existing bonds of friendship and cooperation among the countries of the Caribbean, thereby promoting the ideals of regional integration and advancing the process of economic and social development in the region.
8. The Opening Session of the Summit was addressed by The Most Honourable P. J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, His Excellency Hugo Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and His Excellency Rafael Ramirez Carreño, Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Venezuela, followed by presentations by other Heads of State and Government.
9. The Heads endorsed the objectives of the PETROCARIBE Agreement for the coordination of public policies in energy-related matters in Member States to:
* minimize the risk associated with the security of energy supply;
* defend the sovereign right of countries to administer the rate of development of renewable and non-renewable natural resources;
* minimize the costs of energy transactions among member countries;
* make proper use of energy resources to close the gap among member countries within the framework of regional integration;
* create mechanisms to guarantee that resources generated by energy bill savings, within the framework of PETROCARIBE, are used for social and economic development, promotion of employment, and to increase production and services, public health, educational, cultural and sports activities.
10. The Heads looked forward to the achievement of the objectives of the PETROCARIBE Agreement and agreed that their attainment would contribute to the fight against poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and at the same time, address other matters such as the inadequate medical services in member countries.
11. The following nine (9) countries signed bilateral agreements with Venezuela: Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname.
12. The Heads agreed that founding members were those countries that signed the PETROCARIBE Energy Cooperation Agreement in the city of Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on the 29th June, 2005, and that membership in the Organisation would comprise those countries whose interests and needs were similar to those of Member States. The Statutory Laws of the Organisation also provide for the admission of Observer Members, subject to approval by the Ministerial Council.
13. With regard to the establishment of the Ministerial Council, Heads took note of the following:
* The First Meeting of the Council was convened on Monday, September 5, 2005. It was jointly chaired by the Hon. Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica's Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology and the Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Venezuela, Hon. Rafael Ramirez Carreño.
* This Meeting endorsed The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as the permanent Headquarters of PETROCARIBE, and the Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Venezuela, the Permanent President. Jamaica was appointed Deputy President for the first year, being the host country for the first meeting. Subsequently, the position of the Deputy Presidency will be rotated in alphabetical order in accordance with the Statutory Laws of the Organisation.
* The Ministerial Council also approved the Statutory Laws for the operation of PETROCARIBE and its Executive Secretariat, which will act as the seat of the Organisation.
* The Ministerial Council also agreed that the Executive Secretariat would, in the first year, undertake:
i. a Strategic Study for the Characterisation of Energy in the Central American and Caribbean Region and
ii. a study based on a proposal presented jointly by Dominica and Jamaica for Advancing Renewable Energy Technology in the Caribbean Region.
14. Heads of State and Government which signed the PETROCARIBE Agreement recognized the commitment of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Simon Bolivar's vision for self-actualization of the nations of the Americas. They noted that the Agreement had come at a time when the oil market was exceedingly volatile and oil prices continued to escalate, impacting negatively on the economies of developing states.
15. The Heads welcomed the opportunities that the PETROCARIBE Agreement will provide for social programmes and development interventions and, in particular, those that will address socio-economic needs of the most vulnerable, such as housing and roads; health and education; increased productive capacity and small industries.
16. The President of The Republic of Cuba drew attention to the offer by the Government of Cuba to provide medical assistance to Caribbean countries, particularly in facilitating ophthalmic surgery.
17. Heads of State and Government reiterated the importance of the Social Charter of the Americas, a Venezuelan initiative in the Organisation of American States (OAS) aimed at advancing the socio-economic development of the peoples of the Americas, which was endorsed by member states at the Thirty-fifth General Assembly, held in Fort Lauderdale in June this year. Heads committed to continue working with Venezuela, through their Permanent Representatives to the OAS, towards the finalization of the Charter.
18. The Heads of State and Government agreed that the date and venue of their next Summit would be determined after consultation.
19. Heads of Government expressed satisfaction at the progress made in advancing the administrative framework for the implementation of the PETROCARIBE Energy Cooperation Agreement.
21. On a sad note, Heads observed a moment of silence on the passing of the former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dame Eugenia Charles, O.C.C.
20. Heads expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Jamaica for the warm hospitality extended to their delegations and to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for its continued support to the peoples of the Caribbean, as reflected in the philosophy of the PETROCARIBE initiative.
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