The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) condemns the use of force by the Israel Defence Force firing on largely unarmed Palestinians protesting along the Gaza-Israel border. The Community has followed with increasing alarm the mounting toll of fatalities and injured among the demonstrators.
On Monday 14 May, some sixty protesters, mostly young men and boys, were said to have been killed and seventeen hundred wounded during the clashes.
In the midst of these troubling developments, the Caribbean Community calls for restraint in the use of force and for a halt to this unacceptable escalation of death and violence. The Community reiterates its position that the Israel-Palestine conflict can only be resolved by peaceful means and reaffirms its support for a two-state solution with the people of Israel and Palestine living in independent countries within secure and international recognised borders in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.
PRESIDENT David Granger served as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from January to July, 2017 and during his tenure, he emphasised the economic, environmental and physical security of the citizens who make up the populations of member states. The Guyanese Head of State placed at the top of the regional agenda our right, as members of the Community, to citizenship, to food security and economic viability, a safe and secure existence and the protection of our territorial integrity.
Recognising that the small states that make up the Region must stand firmly together in the face of a constantly changing global environment, President Granger believes that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the key to addressing these bread and butter issues for CARICOM citizens.
Foreign Policy Coordination
Effective foreign policy coordination is viewed as an important enabler for building resilience by effectively positioning CARICOM and the Member States in the global arena through collaboration, cooperation and strategic alliances, the promotion and protection of the interest of CARICOM and other small states to mitigate vulnerability and the leveraging of resources for regional priorities. Heads of Government of CARICOM continue to articulate and harmonise policies and programmes to safeguard and promote the Community’s interests within the global environment. President Granger has attached great importance to foreign policy coordination, even as individual states within the Community pursue their national interests. He believes that foreign policy coordination is one of the four pillars on which the Caribbean Community stands.
Within a current international environment that is replete with uncertainty and complexity, President Granger warned that the efficacy of the Community’s international advocacy could be impaired if coordinated regional positions are weakened.
“The Caribbean Community cannot cling to an obsolete model of insularity in light of these international changes. The mirage of 15 airlines, 15 cricket teams, 15 defence forces and 15 embassies in the capitals of the world might mesmerise a few sentimental romantics, but could deplete the treasuries of our states. The Community, challenged by the constantly changing international situation, must redouble its efforts to ensure a more safe society for its citizens, more stable economies for its countries, deeper solidarity and a more secure hemisphere,” the President said.
Speaking at the opening of the 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, the President of Guyana said the CSME is still the best vehicle to allow small states like those of CARICOM to compete in the global economy while promoting economic and social development.
CARICOM Heads of Governments, who began the first business session of their two-day meeting on Wednesday, were expected to examine the findings of a comprehensive review of the CSME. (more…)
“CARICOM is a community of the people we serve, not a club of officials and politicians. We need to cast our nets far and wide to engage the combined spirit and the collective brain-trust of the Region. We must blend various languages and accents in order to speak to the world with one voice about the aspirations of our people and the mission of CARICOM.” Dr. Hubert Minnis
Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, has signalled his readiness to help deliver the mandates of CARICOM to provide better, healthier and more prosperous lives for the people of the Community.
In doing so, the newest Member of the Conference of Heads of Government also expressed confidence in organs and institutions of the Caribbean Community to deliver benefits of integration.
Senior environment officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met recently in Belize as CARICOM rationalises its position on the United Nations (UN) process to establish an international legally binding agreement on sustainable use of marine resources.
The two-day workshop held 20-22 February 2017, in Belize City, Belize, was titled, ‘CARICOM Regional Workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction’.
Foreign Minister of Belize, the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, addressing the opening, said that CARICOM Member States had championed the negotiation and adoption of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), which was opened for signature in Jamaica. He also reminded that when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was constituted, two CARICOM citizens – Edward Laing of Belize and Dolliver Nelson of Grenada, joined the ranks of the first 21 Members of the Tribunal.
“Judge Laing and Judge Nelson are no longer with us, but they, together with other key jurists from our Region, including the sitting Judge Anthony Amos Lucky of Trinidad and Tobago, have left a legacy on the international stage that is definitive of our Region’s commitment to uphold the law of the sea.
“We have now been called upon to address an area of the law of the sea that has not been adequately provided for in the UNCLOS, whether for want of scientific knowledge, implementation, or as a result of governance and legal gaps,” he said.