Community responding to its challenges – CARICOM SG

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, makes remarks at the opening ceremony of the 26th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, 26 February, 2015, Nassau, The Bahamas (photo via Bahamas Information Service)
SG and performers
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque poses with Grand Bahama Youth Choir (Photo via Bahamas Information Service)

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Thursday encouraged “everyone” to become involved in building a viable Community.

This is a Community responding to its challenges and actively plotting its way forward.  There is no better time than now for everyone to become involved and be a part of building that viable Community for all that we desire,” the Secretary-General said at the opening of the 26th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.

The Meeting is being held in Nassau, The Bahamas, under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon Perry Christie.

The focus of the meeting is on harnessing the Region’s human, cultural and natural resources for development.

Ambassador LaRocque told his audience that CARICOM was on the move and that it was making fundamental changes in the way it operated.

The evolution of our search for a more effective means for integration to make a greater impact on the lives of our people, has led to a reform process,” he said.

In the context of reform, the Secretary-General referred to the Community’s Five-Year Strategic Plan which Heads of Government approved in July last year. An Implementation Plan that was approved by the Community Council, catered for an increased level of coordination and collaboration among the implementing partners – the Member States, the Community Institutions and the Secretariat, he pointed out.

He told the gathering at the Melia Resort that partners were preparing to carry out their specific roles, and institutions had embraced the opportunity and were also readying themselves to effectively participate in the partnership.

Secretary-General LaRocque also focused on the Community’s governance structure which he described as a critical component of the regional architecture that was being put in place.

For some time now the proposal for the establishment of a Committee of Ambassadors has been on the Community agenda as part of the discussions regarding effective governance arrangements. This meeting has before it, recommendations regarding the establishment and functions of the Committee as endorsed by the Community Council.  This Committee can provide that essential link between the national and regional agendas.  It will also be instrumental in the Community’s reform process, given its role in providing strategic support to the Secretary-General and the Community Council, Ambassador LaRocque said.

The Intersessional Meeting concludes tomorrow.