The Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, paid a Working Visit to Jamaica on the 13th February 2014, during which the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil convened in Kingston the Inaugural Meeting of the Jamaica/Brazil Joint Commission. The Working Visit of Minister Figueiredo served to facilitate discussions on matters of mutual interest to both countries and to further strengthen the strong bonds of friendship between Jamaica and Brazil.
The delegation of the Government of Jamaica was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, Q.C.
The delegation of the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil was led by the Minister of External Relations, H.E. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado.
The complete delegation lists are attached at Annex I. The Meeting Agenda is attached at Annex II.
The Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, expressed satisfaction with the convening of the First Jamaica/Brazil Joint Commission, created in 2010, with the objective of enhancing the bilateral relationship through political dialogue, cooperation and increased flows of commerce and tourism.
Working Visit of H.E. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado
During his working visit, H.E. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, paid a Courtesy Call on the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica; signed three Bilateral Cooperation Agreements related to Air Services, Tax Information Exchange and Defence Cooperation; concluded an Exchange of Notes on the granting of Multi-Year Visas to Jamaican Nationals; co-chaired a Press Conference with Minister Nicholson, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; was hosted at an official luncheon by Minister Nicholson; unveiled a plaque at the HEART College of Construction Sciences and toured its facilities located at the Portmore HEART Academy and paid a Courtesy Call on the Secretary – General of the International Seabed Authority.
I. POLITICAL DIALOGUE
The political discussions were jointly chaired by Minister Nicholson and Minister Figuieredo. The delegations also included senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and External Relations of Brazil.
Regional and Hemispheric Issues
The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the resumption of political dialogue in Haiti and their hope that all sides will continue to seek reconciliation and political stability. They agreed that the definition of an electoral timetable would be another positive step in that direction.
The Ministers expressed concern at the ongoing slow pace of recovery from the devastating earthquake of 2010 and noted in particular the negative impact which the lack of resources is having on the Haitian Government´s leadership and capacity in the post-disaster situation.
The Ministers called on the international community, and regional partners to continue to support Haiti´s long-term recovery and stability.
The Ministers expressed support for the mediation process between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in efforts to find an amicable solution in relation to concerns arising from the Dominican Republic Constitutional Ruling on Nationality.
The Ministers reinforced the importance of the Brazil – CARICOM dialogue, and acknowledged the importance of the outcome of the First CARICOM-Brazil Summit in April 2010, which laid the foundation for the intensification of discussions.
The Ministers recognized the need for the continuation of dialogue and agreed to consult CARICOM Members on the possibility of holding a CARICOM-Brazil Foreign Ministers meeting on the margins of the next COFCOR (Council for Foreign and Community Relations), to be held in Georgetown, next May.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
The Ministers stated that the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in Havana, Cuba from 28th – 29th January 2014, marked the consolidation of the two year old regional mechanism . They acknowledged that the Summit also represented an important step forward in the gradual return of Cuba to the system of regional integration, recognizing its important contribution to advancing regionalism during its Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC.
The Ministers recognized CELAC as a valuable mechanism to promote the ongoing dialogue between the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean and committed to playing their part in realizing its aims and objectives, noting the opportunities for member states to cooperate in trade, investment, tourism and other areas.
CARICOM – MERCOSUR
The Ministers agreed on the importance of strengthening economic, trade and political relations between MERCOSUR and Caribbean countries. They supported the resumption of the dialogue between MERCOSUR and CARICOM with a view to the possibility of a trade agreement between the parties in the future.
The Ministers recalled their shared positions on climate change matters including, the need for more ambitious emissions reductions; equal attention to both adaptation and mitigation; common but differentiated responsibilities; and greater commitment by historic emitters.
They recognized the advances made in the international climate change regime during the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-19) and the 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP-9), held last November, in Warsaw. Among these, they highlighted the progress in the areas of adaptation and of “loss and damage”. They also welcomed and reiterated support for the creation of the “Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage”, and further underscored the importance of the political will of all parties, particularly developed countries, to begin the implementation process.
The Ministers also recognized that 2014 is a critical year for climate change with the holding of the UN Secretary-General´s Summit in September which will be crucial for scaling up finance and ambition, as well as the continued negotiations on the 2015 Agreement and acceleration of the process of increasing pre-2020 ambition under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.
Small Island Developing States
The Ministers reaffirmed the special circumstances and the particular challenges of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and recalled, in this respect, the Third International Conference on SIDS to be held in Apia, Samoa, from 1 – 4 September under the theme: “the sustainable development of SIDS through genuine and durable partnerships”, as an important outcome of the Rio +20 Conference and an important contributor to discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. They recognized that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should include an effective institutional framework for the sustainable development of SIDS.
The Ministers also underscored that the Conference provides an ideal opportunity to reinvigorate the commitment of the international community to a global partnership that enables SIDS to eradicate poverty, build resilience and improve quality of life.
The Ministers expressed their intention to cooperate and expand the dialogue on the preparations for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as well as to promote coordination within the GRULAC and CELAC.
The Ministers stressed that the unity of the developing world is an essential condition for developed countries to effectively fulfill their assumed obligations in international cooperation. They also underscored the need for continued advocacy for the support of developed countries in areas of technology transfer, capacity-building and human resource development, to contribute to more resilient Small Island Developing States.
Post – 2015 Development Agenda:
The Ministers emphasised the need to guide the post-2015 development agenda towards the eradication of poverty and the promotion of sustainable development in a way that both integrates and balances the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. They agreed that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should have effective and predictable means of implementation to support developing countries, including through the fulfillment of commitments made by developed countries in terms of official development assistance.
The Ministers expressed support for the view that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) should encompass the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced and synergistic way, building on Agenda 21, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (2002), be universal and limited in number. They also agreed that work on SDGs should be coordinated and coherent with the MDGs review process, without deviating efforts from the 2015 MDG deadline.
Follow-up to the IX Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation
The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the results achieved in the IX Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Bali, Indonesia, from 3rd December to 7th December, 2013, and noted the significance of the approval, during the Conference, of the first multilateral agreements negotiated in the WTO since its creation. The Ministers also noted the contribution of this development to the revitalization of the normative dimension of the WTO and to the strengthening of the multilateral trade system.
The Ministers welcomed the mandate to develop a work program for the resumption of the Doha Round negotiations, focusing on the central themes of its original mandate, especially agriculture and development. The Ministers agreed to the need to play an active and constructive role in the discussions in the WTO on the post-Bali work programme and to seek to advance an agenda that is meaningful and beneficial to Members, particularly the developing and least-developed countries (LDCs).
Arms Trade Treaty and Small Arms and Light Weapons
The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the United Nations General Assembly on 2nd April 2013 and commended the fact that 116 countries have so far signed the Treaty. The Ministers noted that only 9 countries have ratified the Treaty and in reaffirming their commitment to adopt the necessary steps to ensure that the ATT enters into force as soon as possible, also encouraged countries to ratify the Treaty.
The Ministers also underscored the importance of the Arms Trade Treaty, given its potential to curb the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, and to allow for continued collaboration at the regional and international levels to tackle the problem.
The Ministers recalled the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (BMS5), which will be held in New York from 16th-20th June 2014, and committed to participating actively in this process.
II. BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND TOURISM
The Ministers agreed to organize an event to promote investment opportunities in Jamaica for Brazilian firms, which will take place on the occasion of the visit to Brazil of the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce of Jamaica, scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.
III . ENERGY AND MINING
Both Ministers highlighted the potential for greater cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy. They welcomed the role of renewable energy in expanding the access to modern energy sources and in promoting local sustainable development. They placed particular emphasis on the role of biofuels as a key instrument of sustainable development, as they combine income generation in rural areas, reduced dependence on imported fossil fuels, incorporation of new technology to agriculture and mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as cogeneration.
IV. TECHNICAL COOPERATION
The Ministers recalled the signing of the Agreement on Technical, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, and the Program of Technical Cooperation aimed at promoting technical cooperation in the areas of agro-industry, health, transport, tourism and the environment. The Ministers also recalled the terms of the Joint Commission as outlined in the Agreement.
The Ministers recalled the increased technical cooperation between the two countries in the years since the adoption of the Agreement. The Ministers noted, in particular, the successful conclusion of the project: Training Programme for Jamaican Technicians in the Production and processing of Tropical Fruits.
In referring to the unveiling ceremony at the Portmore HEART Academy by Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Minister Nicholson expressed the gratitude of the Government of Jamaica for Brazil´s contribution, through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, ABC, and the National Service for Industrial Training, SENAI, and their cooperation with the HEART Trust National Training Agency, under the Brazil-Jamaica Centre for Professional Training project, which led to the establishment of the HEART College of Construction Sciences at the Portmore HEART Academy.
Minister Nicholson noted Brazil´s specific contribution in the areas of capacity-building, renovation of 4 laboratories, 5 workshops, 11 classrooms, furniture and equipment, as well as technical training for instructors and administrative staff. The Centre will meet the demand for skilled personnel in the industrial sector supporting the tourism value chain, providing training in telecommunications, electronics, information technology, facilities maintenance, carpentry, welding and cooling.
The Ministers further underscored the fact that the inauguration of the Joint Commission will be complemented by the visit to Jamaica of a Technical Team to engage in discussions on areas for joint action. The Ministers noted the proposals for cooperation submitted by Jamaica and the offers made by both Jamaica and Brazil for future cooperation.
The Ministers agreed that the visit of the team of Technical Experts from Brazil would take place as soon as possible at a mutually agreeable time, possibly by the end of the second quarter of 2014.
The Ministers agreed to take all necessary measures to ensure that the administrative arrangements for projects: Strengthening and Support of a Jamaica Sickle Cell Disease Health Programme and Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan Assessment Proposal, are completed as soon as possible.
The Ministers noted the offer by Brazil, through the Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA), to provide support to Jamaica in water resource management, and welcomed the inclusion in the delegation, of a senior ANA official to begin discussions on the terms of a technical cooperation arrangement in this regard.
Bilateral Cooperation Agreements
The Ministers welcomed the signing of agreements listed below, which signify the commitment of both Governments to further strengthening bilateral relations and contacts including in the areas of trade and investment:
(i) Air Services Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil;
(ii) Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the Exchange of Information on Tax Matters; and
(iii) Framework Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on Cooperation in Defence Related Matters.
The Ministers also welcomed the Exchange of Notes for the extension of the validity of visas granted by the Government of Brazil to Jamaican Nationals.
The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the advanced stage of the negotiations of the Agreements listed below and expressed their commitment to signing same by the end of the first quarter of 2014:
(i) the Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on Sports Cooperation; and
(ii) the Agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on the Exemption of Visa Requirements for their Respective Nationals.
The Ministers agreed that following the meeting of technical experts in Jamaica, which should take place by the end of the second quarter of 2014, the next Meeting of the Joint Commission will take place in Brasilia, in 2015/2016.