Wed | Aug 16, 2017

CARICOM Question of the day

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2016 | 7:01 AM
Perry Christie, prime minister of The Bahamas.
Dr Keith Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada.
Allen Chastenet, prime minister of St Lucia.
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What do you think about Jamaica's decision to review its place in CARICOM?

 

Perry Christie, prime minister of The Bahamas:

"When I spoke to the new prime minister, Andrew Holness, I got the impression he was a strong Caribbean man and interested in maximising Jamaica's strength and history and leadership in the region. I didn't get the impression that his review is intended to mean he was getting out but, I suppose, to make recommendations along lines of functional cooperation.

"I don't see that as any doom-and-gloom kind of review. I see that really as a positive one where he intends to use the fact that he comes from outside as a different perspective. The worst thing in the word we could do is not listen or hear people who are outside, who would come in and be able to share a perspective.

"When we leave here, I go back home to the problems I face. Each prime minister has that. And if those problems have no relationship to my discussion, that's where the question comes up: Why do you come?"

Keith Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada:

"There are some issues. Our friends may have had some concerns. I don't think you'll see Jamaica leaving the regional institution. There are some issues that require our attention and different approaches. In some cases, we've gone off on our individual areas in a sense of insularity and make decisions that have an impact on the region as a whole.

"Clearly, we (CARICOM) have to review how we approach regional issues. That is something that we must do. Each individual must come to terms that going it alone in any major issue cannot help the regional cooperation and cannot help our people in the future."

Allen Chastanet, prime minister of St Lucia:

"It's something that we're definitely going to have to look at. Being part of a regional organisation, I must see the benefit in the quality and the effectiveness of my own governance. I must also see the benefit in terms of financial cost. If we take foreign affairs, the ability of sharing office spaces, in terms of security, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, in my mind, ought to have one commissioner of police. These are low-lying issues; there's not much debate that is required. If, in fact, we keep on seeing a delay in making those decisions, then that means that I would have to consider as a country whether I'm going to take very valuable resources, both time and also financial, while people in my country are making sacrifices."