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.
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,”
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.
“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.