Wed | Jan 18, 2017

'Region's credibility being undermined by freedom-of-movement woes'

Published:Tuesday | November 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller (left) and Secretary General of the Caribbean Community CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin La Rocque greet each other shortly before the official opening of the 25th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) earlier this year.

GEORGETOWN, CMC:

Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin La Rocque, says problems related to the freedom of movement across the region have undermined the credibility of the regional body.

La Rocque, in an address at the University of Guyana's graduation ceremony on the weekend, acknowledged the difficulties facing Caribbean nationals. "I am acutely aware of the difficulties still being experienced at ports of entry in some of our member states by those who seek to exercise their rights of free movement and to hassle-free travel ... . All CARICOM nationals have the right to an automatic stay of six months, subject only to circumscribed exceptions ... ."

He said the problems are being addressed and "all the enabling structures in place, and see them fully, consistently and equitably enacted, enforced and implemented".

He added that the region must remember the outcome of the case involving Jamaican Shanique Myrie and stated that the training of the relevant points of entry officials is continuing in order to minimise the difficulties.

La Rocque also urged the graduating class of 2014 to remain committed to the region, noting that while there are opportunities beyond the Caribbean, it is now possible to "serve the wider world from right here in our community", given the advances in technology.