As the Region celebrates CARICOM Day 2021, I extend warm greetings to all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals in Jamaica and throughout the Diaspora.

Forty-eight years ago, the strategic objectives of pursuing a regional economic and social integration movement, as envisioned by eleven Caribbean Leaders, gave birth to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Undoubtedly, our Community has been severely impacted over the past eighteen months by the COVID-19 pandemic, with which we continue to grapple. With determination and concerted efforts of the Community, we
have adopted a collective approach in addressing the resulting crosscutting challenges. To its credit, and in keeping with the spirit of its establishment, several areas of uncertainty have become strong points of convergence for the Community. The areas of food security, public health, logistics and border control in particular have manifested strong opportunities to forge closer collaboration and cooperation and to foster greater resilience.
Today we therefore recall as a Community, that we have much to celebrate

when we consider the multi-faceted nature of our peoples, our diverse cultures, shared principles and the economic and social ties that bind each Member State to this Region.

Over the years, significant strides have been made under the four pillars of the integration movement, namely human and social development; security cooperation; economic integration and foreign policy coordination.

There have also however been significant challenges, many of which we are still working to overcome as we seek to achieve the goals envisioned by CARICOM leaders. Among them are economic sustainability; an effective and efficient governance structure; mechanisms to facilitate ease of access to the collective resources of the Region; free movement of our peoples; improved standards of living for our respective constituents; and enhanced foreign policy coordination. We will continue to pursue these objectives in order to advance the Sustainable Development Goals for the betterment of all our peoples.

As we commemorate this important occasion, let us redouble our efforts to build a stronger and more united Caribbean Community, one that is secure, resilient and prosperous for generations to come.

I wish the entire Community, Happy CARICOM Day 2021!

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