Speech

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says it is time to move the CARICOM agenda forward and build the region.

Addressing the Opening Ceremony of the 33rd Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in St Lucia today, Mrs. Simpson Miller said it was time to embrace freedom of movement for our people and call for an expansion of the categories of free movement to include security guards, household helpers, and caregivers.

Underscoring the need to build a Community in which the people feel confident that it is capable of improving their quality of life, Mrs. Simpson Miller urged CARICOM Heads to "be bold and inspirational and to recommit o full freedom of movement in all categories by 2015".

Prime Minister Simpson Miller also called for greater focus to be place on issues affecting women and children, in particular poor and vulnerable women, girls and boys, as well as the elderly, persons with disabilities, the marginalized and disadvantaged in our societies.

"It has been a journey, and one that we cannot stop on now," Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

Advancing the case for a leveling of the playing field in areas of trade, investment and entrepreneurship, Mrs. Simpson Miller said our private sectors must feel there are opportunities to be pursued regionally and that "every single CARICOM Member State must benefit from the regional integration movement." According to Mrs. Simpson Miller noted the issue of the trade imbalances has "become a distorting feature of our Single Market."

Contact:    Communications Unit-OPM
Tel:               876-926-0244
Fax:              876-920-4684                                        
Email:           opm.news@opm.gov.jm