Joint Statement on Third Border Initiative

Article excerpt

[The following is the text of the US/CARICOM/Dominican Republic joint statement on the Third Border Initiative, as released by the Department of State.]

January 12, 2004, Countries Vow to Work Together to Achieve Shared Goals

The Governments of the United States of America and of the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago pledge to strengthen our cooperation in responding to global and hemispheric challenges in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.

In pledging to work closely together in pursuit of shared goals, the countries paid tribute to the following:

   Our cultural ties, social and economic links, shared tradition of
   democracy, mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial
   integrity of individual states, and out commitment to good
   governance, the rule of law, human rights, individual freedoms
   and open economies.

Their joint statement was released on the final day of the Special Summit of the Americas, held January 12-13 in Monterre, Mexico.

The countries welcome the Third Border Initiative by stating the following:

   As a valuable framework for structuring our engagement across the
   broad spectrum of matters that affect the prosperity as well-being
   of the region and its peoples. The Third Border Initiative
   recognizes the special significance of the Caribbean as an
   important partner of the United States and seeks to build on the
   long history of constructive engagement between the United States
   and the Caribbean.

   The Third Border Initiative aims to focus US and Caribbean
   engagement through targeted programs that comprise both new and
   ongoing activities designed to enhance cooperation in the
   diplomatic, security, economic, environmental, health and
   education arenas without prejudice to additional areas of
   collaboration that may be agreed upon in the future, it provides
   the opportunity to focus funding and assistance on those areas
   where we see the greatest increased need.

We recognize that our nations are bound together by our cultural ties, social and economic links, shared tradition of democracy, mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of individual states, and our commitment to good governance, the rule of law, human rights, individual freedoms and open economies.

We therefore welcome the Third Border Initiative announced by President George W. Bush during the Third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in April 2001, as a valuable framework for structuring our engagement across the broad spectrum of matters that affect the prosperity and well being of the region and its peoples. The Third Border Initiative, building on the Bridgetown Partnership for Prosperity and Security of May 1997, recognizes the special significance of the Caribbean as an important partner of the United States and seeks to build on the long history of constructive engagement between the United States and the Caribbean.

We are further bound by a determination to protect our region from terrorists and criminals who would destroy our way of life and by a belief that terrorist acts, such as the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11,2001, represent a serious threat to international peace and our hemispheric security and require our governments to continue efforts to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism. We recognize that threats to our security, concerns, and other challenges are diverse in nature and multidimensional in scope, and that traditional concepts and approaches must be expanded to encompass new and non-traditional threats, which include political, economic, social, health and environmental aspects. …