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David Miliband(Archived), London
60 years after the arrival in the UK of the ship Windrush at Tilbury Docks, 800,000 Brits trace their heritage back to the Caribbean, and the ties of culture, business, tourism and sport (as well as the shared dangers of drugs and security) mean that we have a lot to work on with Caribbean governments. That is the purpose of the UK-Caribbean forum that has recently met in London, with reps of 10 Caribbean governments and ministers from across UK government.
The truth is that the UK-Caribbean relationship is in transition. All the participant countries in the Forum are now independent, and the British link needs to be remade – not on the basis of history or the number of diplomats we have attached but on the basis of a shared agenda for the future. I think this falls into a number of categories: educational (we agreed to increase and guarantee the number of scholarships), multilateral (for example work in the EU on trade), and global, for example on climate change. It needs civil society and business as well as government to work together. It’s a tough sell. The Caribbean countries want to know that we recognise the special nature of our relationship with them. We do. But we need to bring it alive for modern times.