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Golding’s challenge

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Golding’s challenge

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KINGSTON – Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding used the opening ceremony for the 31st meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Montego Bay on Sunday to challenge his colleagues to make this a defining moment in Caribbean history.Golding, who chairs the 15-nation regional bloc, insisted that ground-breaking changes must be made to reduce the lag time between policy and performance.Critics have repeatedly pointed to the snail’s pace at which decisions of the regional leaders are implemented.“We have identified what is called our implementation deficit. We have not agreed on how to fix it,” Golding said in a frank address, arguing that CARICOM was on a make-or-break knife-edge if it could not reform its governance structure and culture.The prime minister also urged tough and cohesive action on criminal networks which are wreaking havoc across the Caribbean.“The transnational nature of organised crime requires much greater collaboration among us and between us and our international partners, with equal emphasis being given to the supply, transit and demand side of the international drug trade,” he said.Meanwhile, immediate past chairman of CARICOM, Roosevelt Skerrit, fired back at detractors who have described the annual heads of government meeting as nothing more than a talk shop.Skerrit argued that those demanding speedier implementation of proposals such as the CARICOM Single Market and Economy were not carefully examining the realities facing regional states. (Jamaica Gleaner)