CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors to connect national, Regional agendas

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The CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors at its inaugural meeting on Saturday 30 May, at the CARICOM Secretariat, placed emphasis on the strategic guidance it will provide to connect national and Regional agendas in the integration architecture.[su_pullquote align=”right”]“As the link between the national and the Regional, you are in a position to fit two pieces together and see the big picture.” – CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque[/su_pullquote]

Established in March 2015 through an agreement by CARICOM Heads of Government of CARICOM at their 26th Intercessional Meeting in The Bahamas, the Committee comprising Ambassadors accredited to CARICOM will support the Community Council of Ministers. Community Council is currently meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, at the CARICOM Secretariat.

The Committee of Ambassadors was established to work closely with the Organs and Bodies of the Community, the CARICOM Secretariat, and Community and Associate Institutions to sustain an efficient system of consultations at the national and Regional levels to advance the implementation of decisions.

Delegates at the Community Council Meeting on Monday 1 June, 2015 at the CARICOM Secretariat
Delegates at the Community Council Meeting on Monday 1 June, 2015 at the CARICOM Secretariat

In his address to the Meeting, Ambassador LaRocque said: “As the link between the national and the Regional, you are in a position to fit two pieces together and see the big picture.”

 Your consultations with stakeholders at the national level will help streamline proposals to the Organs and Bodies of the Community. It will also help to identify the challenges in implementing decisions arising from those proposals,” he added.

 Describing the Committee as a “living proof of the dynamism of our integration progress and the progress being made institutionally in our reform agenda,” he pointed out that the restructuring of the Secretariat to become more efficient and relevant to the needs of Member States, was a major plank of effecting change in the Community.

The Committee, he stated, would function as a cohesive whole acting as a “think tank” to shape the future of the Regional integration movement. Comparing its function to that of “a board of directors,” he said it would provide strategic guidance to Caribbean integration.

Pivotal to that strategic guidance was the role it will play in the Reform Process. In this context, Ambassador LaRocque said: “This body will have a major role to play in the Reform Process of the entire integration architecture and its governance arrangements which we must reshape for greater efficiency and delivery of the services that must be provided for the development of our people and our Region.”

 Saturday’s inaugural meeting was chaired by Ambassador of The Bahamas to CARICOM His Excellency Picewell Forbes who also emphasised the Committee’s unique and pivotal role.

In his remarks, Ambassador Forbes said that the formation of the Committee provided an opportunity for them to greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the CARICOM Secretariat and its related agencies.

As Ambassadors, we have a unique position in having direct contact with our Heads of Government and Cabinets, as well as with the technical advisors and stakeholders.

We must therefore maximise these unique positions in actioning our responsibilities to provide strategic advice and support to the Community Council of Ministers and support for the reform of the Community,” Ambassador Forbes said.

 The Committee can truly serve as a Rapid Response Mechanism to get early feedback from Member States on matters of import,” Ambassador Forbes stated.

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