Speaking in his inaugural address as Chairman of CARICOM, Saint Lucia`s Prime Minister Honourable Dr Kenny D Anthony spoke of the need for CARICOM member states to develop a common policy and programme for engagement with new and emerging global partners, without renouncing our traditional friends and allies.
Dr Anthony says the region`s terms for foreign policy engagements must be defined by our strategic interests. “ Over the ensuing months and looking into the future, it is my fervent hope that we dedicate our efforts towards a dynamic and outward stance of engagement with third states, particularly with Africa, Latin America and other emerging economic regions. We must move apace to use fo’ra such as the Commonwealth and the ACP to enhance our global reach and relevance. Economic and socio-cultural partnerships that benefit all parties are needed; and these must allow CARICOM to share with the world as active participants, not as after thoughts”.
With the emergence of India, Indonesia, Korea and Malaysia as increasingly important economies to global demand and the turmoil plaguing the Eurozone, the Chairman of CARICOM says it is even more relevant now to adopt a new stance to International Relations.
Dr Anthony also advised his Prime Ministerial colleagues to take steps to develop closer relations with the African continent at the soonest. “The Caribbean and Africa are historical extensions of each other. We know the potential exists to develop strong Trans-Atlantic partnerships in trade, tourism, technology, education and cultural fusion. Unfortunately, we have allowed our relationship with the African Continent to rise and fall with the fortunes of the ACP. We need to re-engage Africa urgently”.
The Chairman of CARICOM says while there will always be differences between and among member states CARICOM should ignore the need to remodel our space in this dramatically altered world.