In the October 15, 2017 issue of REVITALIZATION, we reported on Dominica‘s intention to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation.
Now, on January 12, 2018, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque announced that developing the world’s first climate resilient countries will be a key focus for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in 2018, which he said promises to be a year of “rebuilding and growth”.
When he said that, he was in the process of accrediting new CARICOM ambassadors from Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which was taking place at the headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.
Her Excellency Veronica Griffith, Plenipotentiary Representative of Barbados to CARICOM; and His Excellency Allan Alexander, Plenipotentiary Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to CARICOM were accredited in a ceremony that preceded the 6th Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors.
Secretary-General LaRocque told the newly accredited ambassadors that as Members of the Committee, they can support the future direction of integration, and play a significant role as the Community advances its climate resilience agenda.
He added that members of the Committee have a central role in providing the necessary link between the regional and the national agendas, and to engage and interact with the citizens of their countries to highlight and promote the objectives, work and benefits of the Community.
“This is an essential contribution to strengthening the CARICOM Identity and Spirit of Community,” he told the newly-accredited Ambassadors.
Within the framework of the CARICOM Strategic Plan, he noted their role in ensuring that the regional integration movement “has a greater impact on the lives of our people.”
The Secretary-General lauded the significant role Barbados continues to play in the Community with its Prime Minister having responsibility for the regional flagship initiative, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Barbados also holds the Chair of the CARICOM Commission on the Economy, actively considering the matter of economic growth of the Region, as well as the chair of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Reparations. The latter, the Secretary-General noted, assumed even greater importance “when one recognises that Haiti is the only country which has had to pay reparations.”
He told Ambassador Alexander that St Vincent and the Grenadines has been a strong and dedicated advocate of integration at all levels, noting that Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves has been a leading advocate for recognition of a distinct Caribbean civilization.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organization of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies whose main objective is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.
The organization was established in 1973. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market); and handling regional trade disputes. The secretariat headquarters is in Georgetown, Guyana. CARICOM is an official United Nations Observer.
Featured image of Barbados is by Pakhnyushchyy via Adobe Stock.