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Secretary General of CARICOM, Dr. Edwin Carrington, says CARICOM Heads of Government will be returning to the “cradle of the modern Caribbean integration movement”, when they meet in Montego Bay next month.
“Many may not remember that it was in Montego Bay in 1947, that a number of prominent figures of the then British Caribbean colonies gathered to discuss closer association, laying the groundwork for regional togetherness and bringing us to where we are today – a single market aiming to become a single economy,” Dr. Carrington said.
He was speaking at a media clinic held Tuesday (June 15) by the CARICOM Secretariat at the University of the West Indies’ Distant Education Centre at Mona ahead of the Thirty First Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which is scheduled for Montego Bay, July 4 to 7.
The Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, is set to take over the chairmanship of CARICOM at that time, and will preside over the meeting at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa.
Haiti, climate change, the global economic recession and regional trade are among the topics likely to dominate the discussions.
Dr. Carrington said the meeting comes against the background of the struggle to recover from the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, from which CARICOM has not been immune. He also noted that the year began on a “catastrophic note” with the earthquake in Haiti, and that it was important that the region play its part in the rebuilding process.
He said it was also important that CARICOM Heads use the meeting to prepare for the upcoming meeting on Climate Change in Mexico next November.
Summing up the challenges, opportunities and current developments in CARICOM, Dr. Carrington, said it was important to put all these matters in perspective as CARICOM embarks on the second decade of the new Millennium.
“It is timely, therefore, that as a community we look at where we are in this contemporary world, and seek means to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities to guide us towards a viable, prosperous and secure Community for all, especially our Youth,” he stated.