(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Regional leaders are committed to making the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) more effective.
At least three leaders spoke of their commitment as they addressed the opening ceremony for the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Wednesday, July 4, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St James.
The ceremony was held on CARICOM Day, which marked the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the regional body.
Prime Minister of Jamaica and CARICOM Chairman, Andrew Holness, said his leadership of the Community will call for member states to take decisive actions to transform the CSME into a facility that will truly serve the interest of Caribbean people.
“We will call upon all member states to summon the necessary political will and determination to ensure that programmes and initiatives are strategically focused and geared towards meeting an ambitious process of reform,” Holness said.
He pointed out that despite the fact that the CSME is the single most significant initiative of the regional states since 2003, “progress has not been commensurate with our aspirations”.
Holness reiterated the position taken by the Jamaican Parliament in a recent resolution that speaks to the need for a re-evaluation of the integration process, and for member states to commit to implementing a fully functional single market within a five-year period.
“This 45-year milestone represents an opportune time to evaluate our institutions as we look towards commemoration of our 50th anniversary. We owe it to the people of our region to deliver on commitments made to an effective process of regional integration that will improve the quality of their lives,” the prime minister said.