Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Editorial Staff
8 months ago

Despite Challenges CARICOM Remains Strong

Leaders of the Caribbean Community or CARICOM says despite the challenges faced among respective countries, the union remains robust.

Today is a holiday in Antigua and Barbuda and a few other member states, to commemorate CARICOM Day, marking 50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by the leaders of Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The 45th Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government got underway in Trinidad on Monday. Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne is there

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, said during the official start of the celebrations that the integration movement has flourished and expanded over the years while continuing to thrive.

“Those early steps taken in Chaguaramas have led us far beyond what the naysayers and doomsayers were certain would have been a short lifespan and another disastrous shattering. But here we are today, 50 years on, side by side in mutual solidarity, regard, respect, and esteem. Strong, committed, unified” he said

Rowley said while the union has faced many challenges, they have “risen to overcome them, despite the difficulties, through our cooperation, our shared goals and, above all else, through our friendship within CARICOM,”

“What a wonderful world it could have been today even if we had accepted three quarters of a loaf instead of no bread. However, what’s done is done. Let us not despair because in the absence of political union we were able, if not through vision but through necessity, we have been able to salvage a good chunk of regional functionality in very many areas,” said

Adding, “Never before have small states faced the broad and deep range of challenges that we face now. From climate change, pandemic, gun crimes and violence, trans-national migration issues to insecurity with food supplies, our region has been buffeted by many systemic storms. Throughout all of this, the majority of the people of our region have proven ourselves to be resilient, resourceful, determined and dignified”.

Meanwhile Dr Carla Barnett, in her opening remarks talked about the global challenges facing the world and the Caribbean as a whole

She said however that despite the hurdles, the Caribbean continues to remain resilient and continues to push forward in the face of uncertainty and adversity

“There is no doubt that as our 50th Anniversary theme underscores, CARICOM is 50 years strong, and we have a solid foundation to build on. This is a foundation that has been laid regionally and internationally by stalwarts who have been standard bearers for integration and for CARICOM to have its rightful place in the global Community,” she said.

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is the incoming chairman of CARICOM and in his opening remarks, Skerrit told those in attendance that people in the Caribbean should celebrate their achievements over the past 50 years.

“We deserve to be proud of our history. It is no mean feat that we are the longest-surviving economic integration movement in the developing world and second only to the European Union globally. It is with justifiable pride that we should all say I AM CARICOM. Even as we celebrate this landmark in the evolution of our integration movement, we must be mindful that the symbols and events of celebration do not serve as a distraction from the substance of the heavy lifting still needed to make our community viable, prosperous, secure and beneficial to all of its people”, he said

CARICOM leaders have a packed schedule today.

A flag-raising ceremony will be held today, at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre. A concert will also be held to bring the curtains down on the celebrations.


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