Wed | Nov 14, 2018

CARICOM Summit | Mottley: Fear, resistance to change and closed mind set holding back CSME

Published:Thursday | July 5, 2018 | 9:37 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, addressing the opening ceremony of the 39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community last night.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Firing on all cylinders, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley last night lashed out at the legal and administrative impediments that have held back the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), years after it was launched.

Mottley. who is lead head of the CSME, blamed the lack-lustre approach to the full implementation on closed mind sets in some quarters of officialdom guarding their old territories, fearful of, and resistant to, change.

Launched in 2006, the CSME is intended to benefit the people of the region by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell its goods and services and to attract investment. 

It is intended to create one large market among the participating member states. The main objectives of the CSME include: full use of labour (full employment) and full exploitation of the other factors of production (natural resources and capital).

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community Wednesday night at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Mottle charged that the region’s leaders had failed, particularly the youths, by not delivering on the lofty promises made behind closed doors.

“We tend to develop these lofty ideas, but when it comes to execution, we hide behind the phrase agreed to in principle,” stated the recently elected prime minister of Barbados.
She described the end result as “malicious compliance”, arguing that the Federation and subsequent attempts at Caribbean nationhood failed in part, precisely because they followed a top-down approach instead of a people-driven one.

“Seven decades later, we cannot afford to repeat those same mistakes,” she warned.

Mottley told the conference that one of the first thing her government did after being elected was to remove the visa requirements for Haitians, because it breached the fundamentals tenets that bind the region under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, “namely that of treating each other better than we treat anybody else from outside the Community, and secondly, non-discrimination”.

Barbados she boasted chooses to lead by example and not by default.

Mottley proffered that it was time to recognise that there was now a constituency of integration by intuition and by belief - a generation of educated, world-wise, confident Caribbean citizens who learn, live and love, trade, work and play together.

 “No boundaries exist in the minds of our young people. They fully recognise the Caribbean space as theirs to exploit, with or without the help of Governments,” declared Mottley.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com