The 9th Summit of the Americas (the Summit), which took place last month in Los Angeles was supposed to bring together leaders to promote cooperation and inclusive economic growth based on shared democratic values in North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean. No, Curaçao didn’t participate (1).
Before the Summit started most discussions centered around Washington’s decision to exclude Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. This led El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines to stay away. Also, key figures of the U.S. Administration weren’t present which diluted the Summit.
Perhaps more regretful is the fact that there were few concrete major policy pronouncements. This showed perhaps the lack of policy convergence in our hemisphere and the painful realization that the US is not the shiny city on the hill anymore regarding leadership and democracy.
I’ll turn to what can be viewed as achievements and opportunities for the Caribbean. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was successful in putting the following items on the agenda: Food security, Finance, and Energy respectively by Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago. It’s telling how the Caribbean was front and center in this Summit. CARICOM managed to be an agenda maker and not the traditional agenda taker. Another achievement is the agreement to launch the Caribbean Partnership for Climate Action (PACC 2030) to address climate change, given the region’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters.
What’s Curaçao going to do?
What’s more, food security, energy, and finance are also important issues for us. Can we afford to remain sidelined and not find a formula to work together with CARICOM? Do we approach the U.S. bilaterally to find a way to coordinate on these issues? What’s Curaçao going to do? Doing nothing is not an option it seems.