‘Implementation cannot be a shifting target’ – CARICOM Secretary-General
Implementation of decisions cannot be a shifting target, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, cautioned on Monday.
He was at the time delivering remarks at the opening of the Forty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development which is underway in Georgetown, Guyana.
“Implementation cannot be a shifting target. We cannot come to meeting after meeting and agree to a Plan and not carry forward the work”, the CARICOM Secretary-General told regional Trade Ministers and other delegates at the two-day Meeting.
Implementation has consistently been flagged as one of the major bugbears of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The issue was extensively discussed at a stakeholder meeting on the CSME last year in Guyana. There was consensus that while there was progress the CSME needed to move at a much faster rate. The CSME was also the centre of discussions of CARICOM Heads of Government at Meetings in July and December last year and in February this year.
“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”, Amb. LaRocque said on Monday.
Foremost among the responsibilities of COTED is the further development of the CSME. As such, implementation, challenges, and making the programme more effective are some of the CSME-related issues that the Trade Ministers will consider during the Meeting.
“In a little over two months our Heads of Government will be expecting to receive a report card that indicates that the mandates laid out last July in Montego Bay; in Port-of-Spain last December; and in Frigate Bay last February have been fulfilled. Priorities were identified by the Leaders and an Implementation Plan agreed upon”, the Secretary-General pointed out.
In addition to implementation, Amb. LaRocque wanted the Ministers to ensure that decisions were taken that would lead to the CSME being a “lived reality” for citizens of the Community.