As the CARICOM Single Market and Economy returns to Jamaica, its place of induction, for a review, the CARICOM Secretary-General said while much has been accomplished under its regimes, the Region has not achieved as much as it should have by now.
The humbugs, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque posited, were that “major policy decisions and adoption of legal instruments take much too long to be negotiated.”
“We must do more and do it more quickly,” he told the highest decision making body of CARICOM which is gathered in Montego Bay, Jamaica for its 39th Regular Meeting this week.
“The success of the CSME is being judged, by the public, on the basis of our implementation of the measures agreed to, that allow our citizens and businesses to benefit,” the Secretary-General said.
He noted that at the recent consultation in Georgetown, Guyana, there was wide agreement that the CSME was the most viable option and platform to enable the Community and its nationals to achieve their goals of sustainable growth and development.
Areas which needed to be improved substantially the consultation agreed, he said, included ease of doing business and the movement of skilled nationals. He told the opening ceremony that participants lamented the lack of compliance with already agreed measures, and stressed the need for an enforcement and accountability framework to encourage implementation and compliance.
The Secretary-General said that the recommendations in the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks, added “a voice to the conversation on the future of CARICOM and the CSME.”
He noted that youth with whom he interacted last weekend in Jamaica, were also concerned about their role in advancing the CSME. “They displayed tremendous enthusiasm and eagerness to be a catalyst for improving implementation,” he stated.
With disaster management and reconstruction on the meeting’s agenda, the Secretary-General charged the Conference to “examine how as a Region, we can enhance the capacity to build resilience within Member States to resist the effects and recover quickly from these climatic events.”
In respect of the presentation of the Report on Marijuana by the Regional Commission, he said it provided “an opportunity for a reasoned discourse not only among our leaders but the entire Community.”
The CARICOM Commission on Marijuana comprised experts in the fields of law, ethics, sociology, psychiatry, medical and social research, and criminology looked in depth at the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use.
Secretary-General LaRocque thanked Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine for leading the task and the dedication the Commission demonstrated in the considerable amount of work they undertook.
CARICOM Press Office