La cumbre de la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom) sesiona hoy por segundo día con una agenda enfocada en el combate al hambre, la importación de alimentos y las relaciones con República Dominicana.
El presidente de Caricom y primer ministro de Bahamas, Perry Christie, declaró el jueves sentirse preocupado por la dependencia de la región en la importación de alimentos.
Es tiempo de que produzcamos lo que podamos y que sólo compremos lo que nos sea necesario. Este debe ser el mantra de Caricom, añadió.
A decir del director general de la Organización de Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO), José Graziano, quien participa en esta cumbre, 7,5 millones de personas padecen hambre y malnutrición en el Caribe.
De igual forma, Christie -al frente de la comunidad durante el primer semestre del 2015- llamó a los países que integran esta comuniad caribeña a alcanzar un compromiso en las esferas de la educación, la cultura y el deporte, y priorizar la igualdad de oportunidades para la mujer.
Asimismo, consideró que el anuncio del futuro restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas entre Estados Unidos y Cuba es una oportunidad para la región y llamó a incentivar proyectos con esa isla caribeña.
Debemos hacer un estudio sobre la visibilidad de la región y aprovechar esta oportunidad única para desarrollar una iniciativa multidestino con Cuba, argumentó Christie.
Además de Bahamas, integran la Caricom Antigua y Barbuda, Barbados, Belice, Dominica, Granada, Guyana, Haití, Jamaica, Montserrat, Santa Lucía, San Cristóbal y Nieves, San Vicente y las Granadinas, Surinam y Trinidad y Tobago.
Otro de los temas debatidos en esta reunión desde su inauguración ayer en la capital bahamense se refieren a la creación de un Comité de Embajadores, la financiación y composición de una comisión para estudiar el tema de la marihuana, así como las compensaciones por la esclavitud, entre otros temas.
De igual forma, se discutirá sobre las relaciones de la comunidad con República Dominicana, pero hasta el momento no se ha comentado cual será el enfoque con el que será abordado este tema.
Antigua PM repeats call for US to end ‘senseless’ trade embargo on Cuba
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Outgoing Chairman of CARICOM Hon. Gaston Browne has repeated his call for the government of the United States of America to end its trade embargo on Cuba.
Prime Minister Browne made the call at the opening ceremony of the two-day 26th Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Conference of Heads being held in Nassau, The Bahamas.
While reflecting on the decision of the governments of Cuba and the United States’ to restore diplomatic relations recently, the outgoing Chairman said that the Caribbean could take credit for being on the right side of history in the matter which dated back to 1972 when four independent states of CARICOM “ended the US-sponsored and inspired hemispheric diplomatic embargo of Cuba”.
Turning to issues in relation to trade and economy, the Prime Minster said that the Region was experiencing one of the most challenging periods in its history. He attributed this to the denial of the special and differential treatment to the Region which it previously enjoyed because of its small size, high transactional costs and openness of its markets.
According to Prime Minister Browne, the international community now treated the Region as if it enjoyed the resources, populations, land mass or wealth of places such as the United States and the European Union. He used the opportunity to thank nations such as China, Venezuela and Taiwan for their continued support amid these challenges.
Prime Minister Browne also highlighted that the CARICOM Region’s banking sector was facing a new and potentially devastating threat. “Our Region is being labelled as a high-risk area for financial services” said the former Chairman. According to him banks in the United States and Europe are being made to evaluate risks versus rewards when doing business with CARICOM indigenous banks and banks within its offshore sector. He called on the Conference to establish a committee of Finance Ministers to address this issue because unless the matter is dealt with urgently indigenous banks will be forced to close their doors.
The situation is unfair and it is unjust,” the Prime Minister said.
The issue of CARICOM integration was another area that received significant focus in Minister Brown’s remarks. He stated that all CARICOM people were one and that none of the nations could overcome the current challenges being faced by acting alone.
Only our collective action in defence of our mutual interests will offer resistance to the tides of unfavourable challenges that rush from outside and imperil the lives of our people” stated Minister Browne. He further noted that only united actions would allow the Region to take advantage of opportunities that could better the lives of CARICOM people. He said collaboration, cooperation and unity were needed if the people’s interests were to be advanced.
We need more, not less integration,” Prime Minister Browne said.
‘Invest in youth’ – CARICOM Chair at Summit opening
Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, on Thursday underscored the need for investing in youth, a critical component of the Region’s human capital.
Delivering his address to the opening ceremony of the 26th Intersessional CARICOM Summit, underway in Nassau, The Bahamas, Prime Minister Christie stressed, “if we do not address the challenges faced by our young people; we do so at our grave peril.”
He referenced several renowned CARICOM personalities including Bob Marley, the Mighty Sparrow, Sir Sidney Poitier, Sir Garfield Sobers, Lenny Kravitz, Rihanna, Usain Bolt, The West Indies Cricket Team, Derek Walcott, George Lamming, V.S. Naipaul, Eric Williams, Sir Arthur Lewis, C.L.R. James and Rex Nettleford, who gained Regional and international acclaim for excelling in music, sport and academia. These personalities collectively demonstrated that the Region had the depth and diversity of human capital needed to drive our societies forward, he stated.
Time was optimal, Prime Minister Christie said, for action toward the implementation of the ideas drawn from the Region’s youth, which are contained in the Declaration of Paramaribo on the future of youth in the Caribbean.
In that Declaration we agreed to support actions aimed at empowering and developing youth in the region. We have done the research. We have the views of the youth. Let us take the necessary action to deliver on the provision of Paramaribo and ensure that tomorrow’s leaders are academically, socially and mentally ready for building on the policies of yesteryear,” Prime Minister Christie stated.