Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Barrow resolves to strengthen Caribbean Community

Published:Thursday | December 31, 2015 | 12:01 PM
File CARICOM headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana.

Barrow resolves to strengthen Caribbean Community

Incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow, has promised to improve the quest of the regional organisation to improve the standard of living and providing a "safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community".

Barrow, who assumes chairmanship on January 1, taking over from Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart of Barbados, said the grouping will commit to building on past successes and to become more efficient in the face of the "sternest economic test that member states have had to face in recent memory".

In his message to start the new year, Barrow said he looks forward to increasing the pace both of the reform process and the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019.

"The plan, which is designed to build CARICOM's economic, environmental, social and technological resilience, has the CARICOM Single Market and Economy as an important vehicle in that drive for greater resilience," he said.

"We will be continuing efforts in the coming year to revise those arrangements for our integration movement to become more effective and relevant to the needs of our people," Barrow said.

Concerning the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), he has resolved to encourage more member states to join Belize, Barbados, Dominica and Guyana in making the Caribbean Court of Justice their final court.

"In my view, another relevant factor in the lives of our people is the Caribbean Court of Justice. The creation of our own jurisprudence will help define us as a people, and the excellent, well-reasoned judgments which have been the hallmark of the CCJ are ample proof of the intellectual quality of the legal minds of this Community. During my stewardship of the Community, I look forward to more member states joining the four of us in the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ," he said.

Barrow emphasised the strength in unity in achieving CARICOM's plans, exemplifying the manner in which it rallied to attain the objectives of the three major international conferences in the past year, most recently at COP 21 in Paris.

"The binding decisions taken on financing for development, the 2030 development goals and climate change have great potential to boost our growth and development and bolster our resilience," he said.

"It is therefore in our interest to use our coordinated foreign policy to advocate at every opportunity for urgent imple-mentation of those decisions. In so doing, we will be seeking the support of our international development partners as well as other small island and low-lying coastal developing states," Barrow said.

- CMC