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CARICOM 'Must Deliver' on Promises Says Jamaica's Holness

CARICOM Heads share a joint photo ahead of Thursday's meetings at the 39th Regular Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica. CARICOM Heads share a joint photo ahead of Thursday's meetings at the 39th Regular Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness, whose country is hosting the 39th Regular Meeting of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Heads of Government at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, urged his colleagues to fulfill their commitment to strengthening the region's Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) Wednesday.

Measurable and verifiable plans of action and completion should be implemented to carry out this outstanding obligation within the next five years he emphasized.

"The CSME is undoubtedly the single most significant initiative that has occupied the attention of member states since its inception. Progress has not been commensurate with the region's aspirations."

While Caricom is observing its 45th anniversary, Holness, the new chairman of the regional bloc, said that the survival of any institution depends on introspection and renewal.

"We owe it to the people to deliver on commitments made," he said.

He went on to affirm that Jamaica continues to be committed to Caricom's guiding principles, as well as strengthening investment and trade opportunities among its members.

Holness also exalted the virtue of the region's youth who have criticized the regional body in its failure to promote more meaningful integration, particularly in relation to the single economic market.

He said they are calling on their leaders “to be more accountable” for their decisions and actions.

Caricom's Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government would be an opportunity to find ways to integrate young people into the organization best.

“We need the youth with us. We need to provide them with more information so that they can advocate on behalf of the community. This is not about the Caricom Secretariat; this is about building a community for all of us so that all our peoples can benefit.”

  • Countries: Jamaica

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