JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that former Prime Minister the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson’s commitment to Caribbean regionalism is unquestionable.
“No one can question the contribution he has made to Caribbean development. No one can question the quality of leadership he has offered to the Caribbean Community. No one can question the respect he commands, the prestige he enjoys not only throughout the wider Caribbean but indeed, as a Caribbean man in any council of the world. He’s a remarkable individual,” he stated.
Mr. Golding was paying tribute to Mr. Patterson last night (July 27) at a reception in celebration of the conferment of the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC) on the former Prime Minister at the Pegasus Hotel.
The award is conferred on nationals of Member States of the Caribbean Community, who have a record of outstanding service and contributions to the political, social and cultural development of the region.
Mr. Golding said the contribution Mr. Patterson has made and the leadership he has offered is well deserved. “The award was made with unanimity. Through the many years in which he has been engaged, he has played an important role in defining the principles and goals of the Caricom movement. He was involved in the shaping of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and he has been at the helm of so much of what has happened in Caricom through the transition from the cold war to globalisation and the significant impact that this has had on the Caribbean. He remains passionately committed to the dreams and ideals of Caribbean integration,” Mr. Golding said.
In his reply, Mr. Patterson expressed his sincere appreciation for the award and the accolades extended to him from the Caribbean.
He disclosed that the European Union recently named a hall jointly in his name and that of Sir Shridath Ramphal, for the work they did in the negotiations for the first Lome Convention.
He said Jamaica’s future advance cannot depend solely on its own efforts as an island state but that Jamaica must work together with the countries of the region. He noted the increasing convergence of views on the need and the value of widening and deepening the process of regional integration as Jamaica seeks to combat the global forces in which the country could be totally devastated were it not to form a common bond.
“While the leaders and the political directorate are trustees for the regional integration movement it is something that must involve the people and we must find a way to make Caricom matter to the people, to the business community and to our workers,” he added.
Mr. Patterson took time out to pay tribute to Lady Bustamante, who passed away on Saturday (July 25). The Opposition Leader, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller also paid tribute to Mr. Patterson on receiving the OCC award.

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