CARICOM SG calls for collective response for regional challenges

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CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
COHESIVE RESPONSE NEEDED: CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

As the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government continue to pursue the course for sustained economic development, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said that working collectively and pooling resources were key to success.

Speaking at the opening of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government, Mr. LaRocque said that a cohesive response was needed to address the three broad areas the Conference will focus on – economic development, crime and security and international relations.

The Intersessional summit opened at the Marriott Hotel, in Georgetown Guyana, earlier this morning, Thursday 16 February, 2016, under the Chairmanship of President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger.

Crime and security, prioritised on the agenda, are national and regional issues, the Secretary-General said, underscoring the need for more efficiency in systems concerned with finalising “critical legal instruments” to respond to security issues.

Delegates at the opening ceremony
Delegates at the opening ceremony

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Expedite full implementation of CSME – CARICOM Chairman

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Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Meeting
Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Meeting
“The CSME must not be allowed to become a victim of equivocation and procrastination.”- CARICOM Chairman, President David Granger
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must expedite the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

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.

Lead Head of Government of the CSME, Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean at the opening ceremony
Lead Head of Government with resposibility for the CSME, Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean (left) at the opening ceremony

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Spirit of Chaguaramas inspires us to intensify regional integration – President Granger

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Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM
Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM

“The ‘Spirit of Chaguaramas’ is not the ghost or ‘jumbie’ of a dead project. It is the vital breath of life that inspires us to intensify regional integration.” – CARICOM Chairman, President David Granger
Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana, said on Thursday that the spirit of Chaguaramas was not “the ghost or ‘jumbie’ of a dead project”.

Rather, it was the “vital breath of life that inspires us to intensify regional integration”, he said in reference to the Community’s founding Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The President was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of the two-day Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

“The Treaty of Chaguaramas was a response to the challenges of the post-colonial era. The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas was the response to the post-Cold War era, a time of increasing trade liberalisation and the growth of regional organisations,” the President said.

Delegate at the Opening ceremony.
Delegates at the Opening ceremony at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana

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PM Stuart to attend Intersessional Summit

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Prime Minister of Barbados, the Rt. Hon Freundel Stuart.
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Rt. Hon Freundel Stuart.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart arrives in Guyana today to attend the Twenty-Eighth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), from February 16 to 17.

Following the adoption of the Agenda, Heads of Government are expected to discuss a wide range of issues that are critical to the development of the region, including: Correspondent Banking; Tourism in the Region; the Status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); CARIFESTA XIII, which Barbados will host in August this year; Information and Communication Technologies for Development; and Relations with the Dominican Republic.

While in Guyana, Mr. Stuart will sign, on behalf of the Government of Barbados, 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. (more…)

‘Take stock of the positive’ – CARICOM SG on integration movement

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CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addresses the media
TAKE STOCK OF THE POSITIVE: CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, addresses the media

In any assessment of the performance of the regional integration movement, the positive elements must be considered. And integration must never be measured solely on trade as there was much more that was happening in other spheres such as in functional cooperation and in crime and security, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said Monday at the CARICOM Secretariat.

He was at the time responding to questions at a press conference that preceded the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM which will be held Thursday and Friday at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana, under the Chairmanship of His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana.

The Secretary-General said that integration was working even though there was always room for improvement.

“Can you imagine if there were no CARICOM? Things that we take for granted in our everyday lives… like CXC… that’s CARICOM at work. The fact that more than ninety-nine per cent of our goods is traded freely within our Region – that’s CARICOM at work. The fact that we can have a concerted effort at talking about correspondent banking,…can you imagine if Guyana went alone or Saint Lucia went alone to talk …about correspondent banking? The fact that we have been able to successfully addressing the issue HIV/AIDS collectively; the fact that we have become the first region in the world to eliminate measles and the fact that we have a Community response at the time of disaster… The fact that we are able to present our concerns on climate change collectively.

“There always is room for improvement… By and large, I am satisfied. There are some frustrations that we hear of and we experience in terms of the pace. But as one Prime Minister always says:  we are not going to a point; we are on a journey. Development, as is integration is a journey and once your journey is going in the right direction and you are always improving on what you have and building a sense of Community which I think we really do have, I think we are on the right track; we are going in the right direction. We are carrying everybody with us; no one is being left behind We are building a sense of community and carrying everyone with us. Despite what you may hear … (integration) is working,” the Secretary-General said.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque flanked by Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, Ambassador Colin Granderson,  (left) and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (cewntre) flanked by Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, Ambassador Colin Granderson, (left) and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox

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