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CARICOM urged to fully implement new strategic plan

Guyana, Jan 3, CMC – Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie says it’s important for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to fully implement the five-year strategic plan that has been endorsed by regional leaders for deepening the regional integration movement.

Christie, the new chairman of the 15-member grouping, said that the 2015-19 plan is a bold step that  demonstrates  our determination  to provide  the best options  for the growth  and development  of our people.

“This plan is an important   part  of the  Reform  Process  in our Community  and we stand  to be judged  both  by its success  and  the  actions  we take  in its implementation.    In repositioning  our  Community, as this  plan  seeks  to do, we will be aiming  at making  it more  resilient  to the  internal  and  external  factors  which hinder  our efforts  at attaining   sustainable   development in a rapidly  changing  world.”

Christie, who took over the chairmanship of CARICOM from his Antigua and Barbuda colleague, Gaston Browne, said that there   can  be   no   more   vivid  demonstration    of  the   dynamic   nature    of  the   global environment  facing the Caribbean face than  the  recent  rapprochement  between  Cuba and the  United States.

“Those  of us who have consistently   called for an end to the  isolation  of our sister Caribbean  country  and,  in particular,   the  cessation  of the  economic,  trade  and  financial embargo  are heartened   by the  initiatives  announced   by President   Obama  and  President Castro.

“ In  my view this  rapprochement  underscores   the  urgency  of a summit  between the American  President   and the Heads  of the Community.”

He said that this year also  marks  the  beginning   of negotiations   for  the  United  Nations   Post-2015

Development  Agenda   which  seeks  to  find  a  more  effective  route   to  the  sustainable development  of all States.

“This is of keen  interest  to our  Community   as it is important that  the  concerns   of small  vulnerable   states  like ours  must  be taken  into  account  and acted  upon.

“ We  have  taken  action  in this  regard  by  ensuring   that  our  concerns   and interests  are part  of the platform  for the negotiations   agreed  to last September  in Samoa by the grouping  of Small Island  Developing  States  (SIDS).”

Prime Minister Christie said that as he assumes the chairmanship of the regional integration movement for the next six months, “ it will be my duty to work with my colleague Heads and the Secretary-General to lay the foundations   for the implementation  of our Strategic  Plan.

“Of particular   importance   will be the high priority areas   identified   for focused implementation   over the next five years.    These will be critical as it is imperative   we find the means to reverse the dire economic situation   with which so many of us are faced.”

The Bahamas will host the CARICOM Inter-sessional summit February 26-27 and Prime Minister Christie said “ there   will  be  an  important    discussion   on  the investment   in the  cultural  development  of our  community   including  sports  and  music.

“There   must  be  increased   focus  on  this  part   of  our  human   development  as  we  look toward   the  future   of  the   region.   There   is no question   in my mind   that   increased emphasis on the development of young people should also be a central focus,” he added.

 

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Guyana, Jan 3, CMC – Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie says it’s important for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to fully implement the five-year strategic plan that has been endorsed by regional leaders for deepening the regional integration movement.

Christie, the new chairman of the 15-member grouping, said that the 2015-19 plan is a bold step that  demonstrates  our determination  to provide  the best options  for the growth  and development  of our people.

“This plan is an important   part  of the  Reform  Process  in our Community  and we stand  to be judged  both  by its success  and  the  actions  we take  in its implementation.    In repositioning  our  Community, as this  plan  seeks  to do, we will be aiming  at making  it more  resilient  to the  internal  and  external  factors  which hinder  our efforts  at attaining   sustainable   development in a rapidly  changing  world.”

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Christie, who took over the chairmanship of CARICOM from his Antigua and Barbuda colleague, Gaston Browne, said that there   can  be   no   more   vivid  demonstration    of  the   dynamic   nature    of  the   global environment  facing the Caribbean face than  the  recent  rapprochement  between  Cuba and the  United States.

“Those  of us who have consistently   called for an end to the  isolation  of our sister Caribbean  country  and,  in particular,   the  cessation  of the  economic,  trade  and  financial embargo  are heartened   by the  initiatives  announced   by President   Obama  and  President Castro.

“ In  my view this  rapprochement  underscores   the  urgency  of a summit  between the American  President   and the Heads  of the Community.”

He said that this year also  marks  the  beginning   of negotiations   for  the  United  Nations   Post-2015

Development  Agenda   which  seeks  to  find  a  more  effective  route   to  the  sustainable development  of all States.

“This is of keen  interest  to our  Community   as it is important that  the  concerns   of small  vulnerable   states  like ours  must  be taken  into  account  and acted  upon.

“ We  have  taken  action  in this  regard  by  ensuring   that  our  concerns   and interests  are part  of the platform  for the negotiations   agreed  to last September  in Samoa by the grouping  of Small Island  Developing  States  (SIDS).”

Prime Minister Christie said that as he assumes the chairmanship of the regional integration movement for the next six months, “ it will be my duty to work with my colleague Heads and the Secretary-General to lay the foundations   for the implementation  of our Strategic  Plan.

“Of particular   importance   will be the high priority areas   identified   for focused implementation   over the next five years.    These will be critical as it is imperative   we find the means to reverse the dire economic situation   with which so many of us are faced.”

The Bahamas will host the CARICOM Inter-sessional summit February 26-27 and Prime Minister Christie said “ there   will  be  an  important    discussion   on  the investment   in the  cultural  development  of our  community   including  sports  and  music.

“There   must  be  increased   focus  on  this  part   of  our  human   development  as  we  look toward   the  future   of  the   region.   There   is no question   in my mind   that   increased emphasis on the development of young people should also be a central focus,” he added.