In March 2009, the Brookings Institution and the Organization of American States joined the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Manchester Trade in co-sponsoring a conference entitled “Caught in the Global Hurricane: Debating the Caribbean’s Development Challenges in an Uncertain World.” The conference centered around four major topics of interest at the upcoming the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which was held in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17-19, 2009. These topics were discussed in four separate panels:
- Trade and Financial Development
- Climate Change and Natural Disasters
- Security Issues for the Caribbean
- U.S.-Cuba-CARICOM Relations
This report provides a summary of the presentations given by experts concerned with the well-being of the Caribbean region, the Western Hemisphere, and the global economy at large. These experts included government officials from the Caribbean region and U.S. government officials, and representatives from international organizations, think tanks and the private sector. Opening remarks were given by Edward Greene, assistant secretary-general for Human and Social Development for CARICOM- the Caribbean Community, and the final session featured Gordon Shirley, pro vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and Brookings President Strobe Talbott.