Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque in a Statement issued Saturday said Mr. Manning believed in integration and was genuinely committed to it. His contributions to the Community included strong leadership roles in health and security, the Statement noted.
The Statement continued: "Mr Manning was one of the true champions of CARICOM. He believed in integration and was genuinely committed to it. He often referred to his years as a student at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies as the kindling of the fire that lit his integration spirit.
"He had a keen sense of Trinidad and Tobago’s place in the Community and he believed that it had to play a supportive role given its resources.
"His contribution to our Community stemmed from his conviction that integration was the best response to the challenges faced by our Region of small states. His initiatives included the establishment of the Petroleum Fund which allowed Member States to benefit from Trinidad and Tobago’s oil revenue.
"It was Mr Manning who led the way in addressing the dangers, highlighted by the Region’s experts, that Non-Communicable Diseases posed to our Community and was host to the groundbreaking Special Summit of CARICOM Heads of Government on NCDs. This recognition led to CARICOM leading the global charge by initiating a United Nations High Level Meeting on combating NCDs.
"As Lead Prime Minister for Security in the CARICOM quasi-cabinet, Mr Manning engineered the formation of the CARICOM Task Force on Crime and Security. Its recommendations broadened the scope of co-operation within the Community in that area resulting in Security Co-operation being adopted as the fourth pillar of our integration movement.
"In myriad other ways, his calm and deliberate interventions enhanced the tone of discussions at the level of the Conference of Heads of Government.
"The Caribbean Community extends its deepest sympathies to his wife Hazel, their children and other members of the Manning family as well as to the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago. Their loss is our loss. May his soul rest in peace.'
Mr. Manning died on Saturday in his native Trinidad and Tobago at age 69. Her served as the Prime Minister from 1991-95 and again from 2001-2010.
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