Wednesday, July 04, 2012 – CARICOM Heads of Government have been encouraged to engage the citizens of the Caribbean more effectively in order to ensure the survival and continued relevance of the regional grouping.
In her address at the opening of the 33rd regular meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, in Saint Lucia the Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller called on her regional colleagues to adopt new and effective ways to educate and excite Caribbean citizens of the role and successes of CARICOM.
Prime Minister Miller says while CARICOM has made its many important strides since its inception in 1973, there remains unfair cynicism over the role and importance of CARICOM. “We must do a better job of letting our people know that CARICOM is here to serve them and to make a difference in their lives. If our people are to appreciate our CARICOM Community and to value the time and effort that we CARICOM leaders expend to give it direction and shape then we must invest in communication and engagement, it will take time and effort but we fail to do so at our peril”.
The Jamaican Prime Minister says CARICOM will be stronger and more effective in the global arena once countries commit to forging ahead as one integrated region.
She also expressed the need to bring the people of the Caribbean at the heart of CARICOM`s operations which can develop a sense of pride and ownership by the people of the region.
Prime Minister Miller also urged her colleagues to advance the ideals of the Caribbean integration as a matter of primary urgency. “We must embrace freedom of movement for our people, this must be the fundamental pillar on which our integration rest. I call for the expansion of the categories of free movement to include security guards, household helpers and caregivers. I urge us to be bold and inspirational and to recommit today to full freedom of movement in all categories by 2015”.
n her address The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller also reaffirmed Jamaica’s commitment to regionalism, dispelling some recent media reports.
Prime Minister Miller says her country will continue to embrace and advocate the importance of regional integration.