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Support for a revived Caricom


SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Support for a revived Caricom

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ANOTHER SENIOR Caribbean Community (CARICOM) official is promising to ensure the CARICOM Single Market and Economy gets a second wind.

Speaking on the heels of recent similar promises from CARICOM secretary general Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, new CARICOM chairman, Guyana President David Granger said CSME was the key to collective regional prosperity.

“Convinced as we are that the [CSME] is the vehicle through which we can achieve the growth and development, timely assessments will serve to ensure that we maximise its benefits for our citizens,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the substantial progress that has been made, heads of government will review its operations and identify ways to improve its delivery.”

Noting that 2017 was the mid-point of CARICOM’s five year strategic plan (2015-2019), Granger said the plan was “a foundational element in the Community’s reform process”.

“That process is geared towards ensuring that our people feel the impact of the integration movement in their daily lives. Integration is not merely about systems and institutions. It is mostly about people,” he noted.

“It is in the interest of developing our people that we are taking steps to ensure that they are fully equipped to address the requirements of the 21st Century economy and society.

“Our Commission On Human Resource Development is developing a Regional Education and Human Resource Strategy with special attention to [information and communication technology] in education and human resource development,” he added.

Granger also said CARICOM countries were “well endowed with the requirements for pursuing a green economy including sources of renewable energy and forests that harbour a significant amount of carbon”.

“As noted by the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, ‘the green economy can be seen as a lens for focussing on and seizing opportunities to advance economic and environmental goals simultaneously’.”

He added: “The effects of climate change continue to bedevil our countries as exemplified by Hurricane Matthew. The need to conserve and protect our environment, therefore, becomes even more pressing.

“Such actions will also give us the opportunity to leverage the abundant forests and wetlands as well as the marine resources with which our region is blessed and utilise them creatively to launch new pathways to social and economic development.

“This can be accomplished while ensuring that we help in the global commitment to limit the rise in global temperature to below 1.5 degrees.”

The CARICOM chairman said “2017 holds great promise for us to advance our integration process which can only be possible through the involvement and participation of all”. (SC)

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