Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, is calling on CARICOM leaders to place increased focus on building sustainable societies that are resilient against various shocks.
She noted that the violent hurricanes in the Caribbean last year, coupled with the region’s continued vulnerability, are reasons to reassess the responsibility of governments to citizens.
“Those events have forced us to refocus on the goals of tackling poverty and truly evaluating this region and how it is that we will ensure that we get to being a place of stability and viability, in a sustainable way,” she said.
Mrs. Johnson Smith was speaking on Thursday (November 1) at the opening of a two-day workshop under the theme ‘Co-creating Sustainable Solutions – Progress, Challenges and Emerging Tools’ at The Courtleigh Hotel, Knutsford Boulevard in Kingston.
The session was attended by senior government officials and experts from more than 18 Caribbean countries.
It was one of three held in Latin America and the Caribbean and a follow-up to the Caribbean Action 2030 Conference held at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in 2017, which focused on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
Senator Johnson Smith said that one of the objectives of the workshop was to provide a technical space to share, consolidate and capitalise on experiences and lessons learnt.
Additionally, she said the workshop provides the region with the opportunity to do its own stocktaking while determining areas of weaknesses and challenges and “to bring our successes to the table for exchanges in effective south-south collaboration”.
“The networking opportunities that this workshop will provide enhance the opportunity for valuable inter-institutional contacts and linkages and create new pathways for collaboration,” she added.