Delegates present at Caricom COFCOR to visit Geothermal Project site: Minister Henderson

Over the next two days the Council will engage in critical discussions that will include climate change, a reality which has become even more critical as we approach the 2024 hurricane season.

Minister Vince Henderson
Minister Vince Henderson

Dominica: The opening ceremony of the 27th meeting of the Caricom COFCOR (Council for Foreign and Community Relations) held in Roseau, Dominica on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Minister Vince Henderson has been appointed as the Chairman of the Caricom COFCOR during the meeting in the presence of several attendees such as Caricom Secretary-General – Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica – Kamina Johnson-Smith, Assistant Secretary-General for Foreign and Community Relations – Elizabeth Solomon, Foreign Minister of Caribbean Community and other delegates.


At the opening ceremony, Minister Henderson praised Caricom Secretary-General – Dr. Carla Barnett, for her leadership, who has led Caricom with her wisdom, dedication and activeness.

He expressed that on the behalf of the Government and Commonwealth of Dominica, he is delighted to host this 27th regular meeting of the Caricom and COFCOR.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy, highlighted that they will be paying more attention towards planting and growing more trees and will try to enhance the beauty of the nature island.

27th Caricom COFCOR opening ceremony
27th Caricom COFCOR opening ceremony

He also mentioned that they will be taking everyone to a trip to the site of their transformational Geothermal Powerplant Project, after the ceremony. It has been 20 years of it in making and they are really proud of it and they really want everyone to see what future will look like, said Henderson.

He emphasised upon the profound unity among them that reflects the complex realities of their times. He also added about the climate changes, energy and food nutrition and security.

Minister Henderson added to his statement that it is crucial as the COFCOR undertakes its work and provides policy guidance in advance, considering the shared vision and development goals.

He also mentioned that the increased engagement with the emerging partners such as those in the Middle East, Qatar is a testament on the scores of enduring commitment and maximizing opportunities for the benefit of the regions. There is indeed a great benefit to South Corporation, and they still consider the global solution as a very important group of countries that they need to continue to engage.


Moreover, Minister Henderson stresses upon the invitation that has been extended to the state of Qatar for the council engagement of multilateral cooperation and support of shared priority. This follows an inaugural curriculum of Saudi Arabia summit which was held in Riyadh last November, headed by the prime minister Skerrit and Caricom Canada Summit in Ottawa.

Just before that in October, they promoted an environment that enables increased opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and strategic partnerships. Over the next two days, they will address several critical issues to build a more resilient and thriving community for all.

He highlighted that the presence of the delegates at Dominica signifies a strong commitment towards strengthening the community ties and collaboration. Additionally, he gave a precap of the events and discussions that will be held in this event.

Caricom Secretary-General – Dr. Carla Barnett
Caricom Secretary-General – Dr. Carla Barnett

Caricom Secretary-General – Dr. Carla Barnett also made a statement at the 27th meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), in Roseau.


She extended her sincere thanks to the Government and People of the Commonwealth of Dominica for the generous hospitality and excellent arrangements to put in place for the meeting.

Barnett extended her wishes to Minister Vince Henderson and said that she is confident that under his leadership, the Council will advance its contributions to the sustainable development of the Community and to the standing on the global stage.

She enlightened that the global context is increasingly challenged with threats to multilateralism, disregard for international law and increased instability in many parts of the world.

As a small island and low lying Coastal Developing States, we are more vulnerable to these international fluctuations which will continue to affect the economies, environments and societies adversely.

Notably, over the next two days the Council will engage in critical discussions that will include climate change, a reality which has become even more critical as we approach the 2024 hurricane season.

The regular hurricanes will seriously set back the development efforts that are undoing the hard-won progress such as when Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica.

However, the climate resilience cannot be realised without affordable resources that are necessary for infrastructural development. In bilateral and joint engagements, they all must continue as a collective to reinforce the urgency of reform of the global financial architecture as proposed in the Bridgetown Initiative, to facilitate the increased access to resources at the cost of bearing it and the impact of climate change on our economies and societies.

Secretary General Barnett has also mentioned about the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States which will be hosted in Antigua and Barbuda next week, and will also present an opportunity for Member States to engage with the international partners, including SIDS outside the Community with a common agenda regarding climate change and financing for the development.