(GIS) — CARICOM Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, establishing the Caribbean Community on the fourth of July, 1973. Some 47 years later CARICOM continues to evolve achieving new feats as it grows stronger.
Ambassador to CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), H.E Elma Gene Isaac, explained that citizens in every member state have a role to play in molding CARICOM’s future.
“Like most 50-year-olds the Caribbean Community boasts sufficient youthful vigor, to continue to breathe new life and energy into projects, while tempering exuberance with the kind of wisdom that is born of trials and experience,” she said. “There is no doubt that as a community of sovereign states we sometimes have to manage the tug of war between national and regional interests, but what is most important is that we never lose sight of why we have embarked upon this journey and the heritage that we wish to create for future generations.”
The Regional Integration Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat also launched the ‘I AM CARICOM’ communications campaign in Saint Lucia, aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of CARICOM among citizens.
“To launch the I AM CARICOM campaign, and in celebration of CARICOM Day 2020, the unit has planned a number of activities including: the unveiling of the “I AM CARICOM” photo frame; observing CARICOM Colours Day; interviews online games; and the pop up booth where persons can obtain information on CARICOM’s role, contributions, activities, strategies and the strategic plan for the development of the community. In designing the 2015 – 2019 strategic plan CARICOM made a significant effort to include as broad a cross section of citizens as possible. A similar participatory approach is being used in crafting the strategic plan that will govern the movement post 2020.”
Minister with responsibility for External Affairs, Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, highlighted the strides made by the CARICOM.
“We have promoted economic integration and cooperation amongst members with actions such as the implementation of the Common External Tariff and the widening of the categories eligible for free movement of skills and labour. Together we have tackled imbalanced and unfair global systems, and through our well-orchestrated advocacy we will tackle issues of international funding to reflect a cognizance of the economic and physical vulnerabilities of small island developing states, and strategically lobby for the removal of member states from blacklists even when current practices are consistent with internationally approved recommendations.”
To commemorate CARICOM Day 2020, the Government of Saint Lucia launched “CARICOM Colours Day” an initiative geared towards promoting the CARICOM identity and increasing public awareness of the organization, its institutions, and their work.