Former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson has called on Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders to decide on their priorities as well as set a specific time table in order to accelerate regional growth and development.
Addressing the Rotary Club of Georgetown, World Understanding Month dinner on Monday night, Patterson also lamented the fact that CARICOM nationals were still experiencing difficulties in travelling through the 15-member grouping despite efforts to ease restrictions on travel.
"What purpose does the CARICOM passport serve if travelling within the region is still like an obstacle race," Patterson said, questioning how foreigners, who on entering the region for 2007 Cricket World Cup 2007 were able to move around with "absolute freedom" and CARICOM nationals armed with their CARICOM passports had to establish their identity at each port of entry.
"It simply doesn't make sense," he told the Rotarians adding that the regional integration movement is in danger and that Caribbean governments must start using their collective strengths to tackle challenging issues.
"In a time of severe constraints, CARICOM heads will have to decide on priorities ... and set a specific time table on competing areas to accelerate regional growth and development," he said.