He was speaking at the commemorative ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the agreement held on Saturday (September 5), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
Minister Paulwell noted that Jamaica and other Caribbean countries have reaped significant benefits under the energy pact signed with Venezuela in 2005.
He said that not only has the arrangement remained strong, but it has attracted additional signatories from other regional countries over the years.
He said the 10th anniversary Summit provides an opportunity for the member states to reflect on the achievements.
“I invite us to pause a moment to fully recognise the value that can be created, what can be achieved when we share a common cause, a commitment to the principle of collective action and mutually beneficial development. This…is the real achievement of PetroCaribe,” Minister Paulwell said.
That reflection and realization of the gains, he pointed out “will again silence those skeptics, who said the PetroCaribe could not last…that our dream of a sustainable and exemplary regional energy pact would dissipate into thin air.”
The Energy Minister urged signatories, in celebrating the successes, to also learn from the challenges and work towards even more achievements under PetroCaribe in the future.
“The energy initiative conceived 10 years ago, the achievements that we have shared, as well as the challenges that confront us, must now motivate us even stronger to resolve development through solidarity.
“It is the 10th anniversary… and not only has the historic pact survived, but the signatories of the agreement have increased. As participants, we have grown stronger, more cohesive, more collaborative and increasingly mutually supportive of each other’s development,” he stated.