COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE TWENTY-EIGHTH
INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF
GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY
16–17 FEBRUARY 2017, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA
“Heads of Government expressed grave concern at the level of crime in the Community and resolved to increase their efforts to curb the scourge, including greater focus on the social determinants of crime, especially among the youth.
In that regard, they committed to ensure their Attorneys-General and Ministers responsible for Legal Affairs take action to finalise Agreements which are essential to the implementation of the Regional Crime and Security Agenda.
Heads of Government also committed to take full advantage of opportunities for capacity-building to address existing and emerging threats, including those related to Cybersecurity and Cybercrime, Crime Prevention and Drug Demand Reduction.”
“Every citizen of this Community must count; every citizen of this Community has rights, and, wherever our citizens are, they have the right to be treated as Caribbean citizens.
“There is no such thing as a ‘stateless person’ in our Community. There should be no such occurrence as a citizen of a Caribbean state being treated as inferior in any jurisdiction in the Community.”
So said President David Granger, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at a press conference at the conclusion of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government on Friday afternoon.
He told representatives of the media that during the two-day Conference, Heads of Government reflected on the importance of the CARICOM ‘Brand’, and the “pride that we have in our citizenship, citizenry and membership”.
“We embarked on this journey in 1973 because people of the Caribbean need to feel safe in their everyday going out and coming in, the effect of not just being citizens of one country, but citizens of a regional civilisation and that is what we are aiming for.” – PM Freundel Stuart
Barbados’ Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart has called on CARICOM Heads of Government to refocus on the Regional Security System to better protect Caribbean countries.
Prime Minister Stuart, at the opening of the Twenty-Eighth Inter-Sessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, explained that over the years, some Caribbean states have faced threats to their security in the form of direct invasion, mercenary attack, incursion and intervention. Against that background, he is calling on Heads of Government to start focusing on regional security.
“We have to spend some time on the whole issue of regional security which is for us not just a law and order issue, but for us, a developmental issue, and therefore, we’re going to be spending some considerable time on that,” Prime Minister Stuart explained.
“I made the point during our presentation to the conference that the CSME is not a destination, it’s a journey, and there will always be work to do. What we want to ensure is that we have a regional integration movement that is alive, and that we’re responding appropriately to the multiple challenges that arise from time to time.”- PM Freundel Stuart
The review shows the status of implementation, for each country, of the measures intended to bring the CSME into effect.
In an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service at the end of the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Georgetown, Guyana, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart explained that the “comprehensive” review had been carried out by the CARICOM Secretariat under his oversight as Lead Head for the CSME, and as directed by the Conference of Heads of Government last July.
The Twenty-Eighth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) opened Thursday morning at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.
Speakers at the Opening included CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, and CARICOM Chairman and President of Guyana, HE David Granger.
This was the charge President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger, issued to Heads of Government and delegates at the opening of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Georgetown Guyana on Thursday morning.
“Economic cooperation is a fundamental pillar of our Community. The Caribbean, if it is to escape the hazard of economic emasculation in today’s global environment, must expedite the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). We face threats that include dampened demand for our goods and services and distortions in our financial sectors caused by de-risking by international banks.
The CSME, a regional flagship programme, is one of the main agenda items of the two-day Intersessional Meeting. The CSME is considered the best vehicle to promote economic development and integration, and last July, CARICOM Heads of Government had requested a review of the programme. That review will be considered by the Heads during the Intersessional.
Significant progress had been made in the CARICOM Single Market, especially its legal and administrative framework, but more needed to be done with respect to the Single Economy.
“The CSME has the potential to enhance private sector growth and competitiveness by providing access to a larger pool of resources, facilitating the movement of human capital, catalysing the establishment of regional businesses and encouraging the free movement of goods. The CSME must not be allowed to become a victim of equivocation and procrastination,” President Granger warned.
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, in his address to the opening ceremony, also focused on the CSME, pointing out that it was timely for the Meeting to consider a comprehensive review of the programme.
“Ideally, a review of the CSME must not only be about what has been done, or not done, and what might have been the constraining factors; it should also be about the impact and how it has measured up to intent and expectations, and therefore how the shortcomings might be addressed,” the Secretary-General said.
Barbados has ratified the Protocol Amending the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to incorporate the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) as an Organ of the Community, and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) as an Institution of the Community.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart signed the Protocol and deposited the Instrument of Ratification on behalf of the Government of Barbados during the first business session of the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM in Guyana on Thursday.
Following the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Stuart told the Barbados Government Information Service that ratifying the Protocol was a symbol of the country’s commitment to ensuring the security of the region.