Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Flag-Raising Ceremony held for Caricom’s 50th Anniversary

Photo Credit (Wayne Mariette)

A flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the 50 th anniversary of CARICOM was held on Tuesday at the office of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said at the flag-raising ceremony significant, given the importance of CARICOM.

“We gathered to celebrate a very momentous occasion. 50 years of operationalization and functioning of Caricom and 50 years in the life of any organization, and any individual is significant. And it is to the credit of the Caricom people that we have been able to keep this disintegration movement together for 50 years. And I hope that we will use this opportunity to redouble our efforts and to ensure that Caricom lasts for thousands of years,” Browne said

He said it is also very important to continue to strengthen the integration movement, hastening to add that it was “not a perfect union”

“It’s not a perfect movement. There are many challenges that must be addressed. We know, for example, that the Least Developed Countries (LDC) have not benefited proportionally compared to the More Developed Countries (MDC)…We know, for example, that some NDCs continue to compete with LDCs, resulting in some displacements. But notwithstanding those challenges, I’m of the firm view that Caricom has resulted in significant benefits for all of our nations,” Browne said.

When you look at Caricom in the context of the global challenges facing respective nations, Browne said it is easy to conclude that more will be achieved collectively than individually

He said considering the myriad of global challenges, CARICOM could “either swim together or sink alone”

Caricom was established on July 4, 1973, with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, and took effect on August 1, 1973.

Antigua and Barbuda became an official member of the organization in July

“And today, we join the rest of the region in recognizing the establishment of the Caricom community, Caricom, on July 4th, 1973. An early generation of Caribbean leaders set off to unify the region. And that was an extremely noble cause; a cause that has sustained itself 50 years later. The object then was to build a regional state. And whereas, you know, in a prior effort, we did not quite succeed in establishing or at least sustaining a political union, I still believe that with time and certainly with the commitment of our leaders and our citizens and residents, we will achieve a regional political union,” Browne added

He said “Despite our small sizes, we wish to create a union of states and territories that would be like a bundle of sticks. That was the objective of our forebears. Together, we intended to be stronger and far more resilient than we could be if we traveled alone. As we celebrate 50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, our country’s collaboration has indeed proven the early generation to be right”

Meanwhile, Browne said institutions like the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and Caribbean Public Health Agency, played an important role during the challenging period of Covid.

“These institutions are extremely important to the integration movement and whenever individuals wish to second guess the importance and the contribution of Caricom, I wish to remind them of the contributions of these various Caricom institutions,” he said

Although the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) have not yet been fully achieved,” it is a work in progress and we shall continue unrelentingly until it is achieved. To achieve this objective, it was necessary to create and now modernize the common external Tariff.” He added

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