‘Farewell to a giant of regional integration’
P. I. Gomes, former executive director of CARICAD and Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, paid tribute to former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who passed away on Monday at age 70.
“The passing of Professor the Hon. Owen Seymour Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, will be marked with great sadness by his beloved Barbados, the CARICOM and Greater Caribbean Region, the Commonwealth, United Nations and many of the Global South. But his legacy is one of unsurpassed dedication and devotion to family and country.
“For all those who were privileged to know, work with or meet, if only casually, at a Conference or Seminar, the engagement with Prime Minister Arthur was intellectually inspiring, insightful and with a personal touch that was indelible.
“Owen Arthur lived a commitment to ideas and service for the upliftment of country, region, Commonwealth Small States and the developing world with a passion and conviction that marked an indefatigable sense of purpose.
“His legacy is a great tribute to Barbados and the living testimony of a deep desire for Caribbean regional integration, in its forms of a Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), Functional Cooperation and as much through harmonisation of foreign policy and democratic governance.
“All this was done with such passion and pride that the voice of the small states of the Caribbean and Commonwealth would be heard and taken into account.
“This was as clear and convincing when the late Prime Minister spoke at the UN General Assembly or at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. His last great service to democracy and respect for free and fair elections has been his unequivocal call, as Head of the Commonwealth Observer Team to Guyana’s March 2020 General & Regional Elections, that the Recount be the basis for a Declaration of the Results of those elections. For such service Guyana will ever remain deeply indebted.
“To his dear widow and daughters, may I convey condolences and grant that the Lord welcome Owen Seymour Arthur to the eternal peace, deserving of a good and faithful servant.” (PR)