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Caricom aims to deepen trade and economic integration

Georgetown, Dec 27 (Prensa Latina) The Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) will continue to diligently manage the regional bloc's priorities of deepening economic integration and trade, an authority asserted in statements released today.

In an end-of-year message, the organization’s general secretary, Carla Barnett, stated that as we enter 2024 the entity will also aim to strengthen the coordination of foreign policy and community relations and human and social development, sustainable development and security.

Particularly, we focus on efforts to implement the free movement of all Caricom nationals within the Community by next March, added the representative, who described 2023 as a historic year as it commemorates the organization’s half century.

“The last 50 years have taught us that with collective action we can achieve much more. With one voice we denounce the devastating wars that have precipitated humanitarian crises and express our support for adherence to the fundamental principles of international law,” she said.

We continue, she added, our strong advocacy for international support to help our brother member state, Haiti, return to peace and stability, and to support the war against weapons, which are negatively impacting security throughout our region.

As she highlighted, the countries made progress in the programs and policies agreed upon by the Heads of Government, to positively impact the lives of the people of the geographical area, and made commendable progress in the initiative to reduce the food import bill.

“Destined engagements with regional and international partners and forums such as our flagship event, Caribbean Agriculture Week, allowed for meaningful interaction with the private sector and other stakeholders,” highlighted the Secretary General.

Likewise, he mentioned the promotion of decisive actions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change throughout the year, including at the recent United Nations Conference on the subject, and emphasized the case for the recognition of vulnerability of small island states.

“We welcome the call to Parties for a just transition to renewable energy and reductions in methane emissions, but this does not go far enough. The transition must be broader and requires much more urgent action by the main emitters to keep the 1.5 (limit of global temperature increase) alive,” she warned.

Barnett extended sincere gratitude to the Heads of Government of the Community, its ministers and senior officials, for their commitment to regional integration and the implementation of programs and policies to improve the lives of the people.

“Special thanks also to our international partners, the private sector, labor organizations and civil society groups who have responded so positively to the Secretariat’s efforts to achieve a more structured engagement,” she said.

Caricom is made up of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, and British Virgin Islands are associate members.