In a significant diplomatic development, Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda engaged in fruitful bilateral discussions with His Excellency Luis Abinader, the President of the Dominican Republic. The discussions, held at the Mission of the Dominican Republic in New York on 22nd September 2023, centered on strengthening the cooperation between the two nations, both of which share deep historical and economic ties.
Enhancing Global Collaboration
During the dialogue, Prime Minister Browne outlined a comprehensive plan to deepen cooperation between the two countries on a two-tiered basis.
Global Issues: Prime Minister Browne extended an official invitation to President Abinader to participate in the 4th UN Conference on Small Island States, scheduled for May 2024. This invitation underscores the commitment of both nations to addressing global challenges affecting small island states, particularly in the realm of sustainable development and climate resilience.
Climate Change and International Law: Prime Minister Browne encouraged the Dominican Republic to formally join the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law (COSIS). Established in 2021, COSIS is dedicated to assisting small states in shaping and advancing international law related to climate change. Notably, COSIS recently embarked on a groundbreaking initiative before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. This call for cooperation in the domain of environmental law underscores the importance of united action in addressing pressing global issues.
On bilateral matters, President Abinader expressed his government’s commitment to expedite the allocation of funds for the construction of a school in Barbuda, highlighting the dedication of the Dominican Republic to supporting educational development in Antigua and Barbuda. Additionally, President Abinader pledged assistance for Antiguans and Barbudans interested in attending baseball training camps, recognizing the growing interest in this sport on the islands.
Prime Minister Browne expressed his gratitude for the generous offer and reciprocated by extending an invitation for the Dominican Republic to establish its Embassy in Antigua. Furthermore, Prime Minister Browne proposed an expansion of air links between both nations, aimed at bolstering trade and tourism ties, thereby enhancing economic cooperation.
Commitment to Enhanced Cooperation
President Abinader enthusiastically embraced Prime Minister Browne’s proposals and committed his government to initiating a new cooperation agreement with Antigua and Barbuda. This agreement will encompass the aforementioned areas of cooperation, marking a significant step towards fostering economic and cultural bonds between the two countries.
Future State Visits
Concluding their bilateral meeting, both Prime Minister Browne and President Abinader expressed their shared commitment to increasing the frequency of official state visits between Antigua and Barbuda and the Dominican Republic. This commitment signifies a renewed dedication to strengthening diplomatic ties and mutual collaboration.
In summary, the discussions between Prime Minister Browne and President Abinader have set the stage for a deeper and more meaningful partnership between Antigua and Barbuda and the Dominican Republic. The shared commitment to addressing global challenges and enhancing bilateral initiatives demonstrates the importance of collaboration between nations with common interests and goals.