Take care of matters that are important to people – COTED Chair, CARICOM SG
Barbados Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Hon. Sandra Husbands, wants Trade Ministers to take action on matters that will allow the people of the Region to actively feel the benefit of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Chief among those actions are related to the free movement of people.
“We need to take care of certain elements that are important to our people”, she said
She was at the time delivering briefing remarks at the opening of the Forty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) at the Guyana Marriott Georgetown.
She told delegates at the Meeting that collective thinking, identification of common interests and unity were necessary to achieve integration goals. Ministers, she added, needed to be strategic, deliberate and effective with decisions and implementation activities of the CSME.
The Implementation of the CSME is one of the main issues under discussion at the two-day Meeting. Delegates will review the agreed implementation plan for the CSME and challenges that are being encountered, and will also brainstorm priorities for making the flagship programme more effective.
It was important, she said, for Ministers to view their work under the umbrella of COTED, not from the perspective of individual Member States, but rather what was best for common interest of the Region.
Minister Husbands added that this was necessary to create the level of economic growth and development and the kind of society that was just, fair and prosperous.
“Let us strengthen ourselves to go forward as a region at this Forty-Eighth COTED”, the Chairman said.
In his remarks to delegates, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque also honed in on the necessity of the COTED to take decisions that impacted the people of the Region.
“An urgency to complete the agreed measures and make the CSME a lived reality for our citizens, has been the hallmark of the recent discussions among our Heads of Government. As the Council tasked under the Revised Treaty to “promote the development and oversee the operation of the CSME” you have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that we accomplish the goals in that regard,” he told the Meeting.
He also placed emphasis on the importance of implementation of decisions.
“Implementation cannot be a shifting target. We cannot come to meeting after meeting and agree to a Plan and not carry forward the work”, he warned.