Jefes de Estado del Caribe se reúnen para avanzar en el Mercado Único
Recaban unidad más estrecha entre miembros del Caricom
El primer ministro de Jamaica, Andrew Holness, subrayó la necesidad de una unidad más estrecha entre los 15 miembros de la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom), especialmente en el entorno de inestabilidad e incertidumbre actual.
Durante su discurso en la Trigésima Reunión Intersesional de Jefes de Gobierno de la Conferencia de Caricom, que tiene lugar aquí, Holness, como expresidente de este ente caribeño, afirmó que la región tiene que sobrevivir en un entorno global difícil.
Asimismo añadió que como región ‘debemos permanecer fieles a nuestros principios fundamentales y también actuar de manera decisiva y estratégica para aprovechar las oportunidades que presentan las circunstancias mundiales cambiantes en interés del desarrollo de nuestros países y nuestra gente’.
Agregó que usó su mandato como presidente temporal de la agrupación para enfocarse en superar la inercia que, durante mucho tiempo, caracterizó ‘nuestros mecanismos regionales y perjudicó significativamente nuestra capacidad para simplemente hacer las cosas’.
El gobernante jamaicano dijo que también se esforzó por impulsar ‘el progreso en asuntos que permitan al hombre y mujer caribeños promedio experimentar a Caricom de forma real y tangible a través de la implementación del régimen de libre movimiento’.
Este encuentro de dos días en San Cristóbal y Nieves (26 y 27) buscará avanzar más en las acciones del Mercado Único y Economía del Caribe, que se identificaron en una cumbre especial de Caricom celebrada en Trinidad y Tobago el pasado diciembre.
Asimismo todos los participantes examinarán las recomendaciones de una Reunión Especial del Consejo de Caricom para el Comercio y el Desarrollo Económico sobre Transporte, celebrada este mes en San Vicente, que trató, entre otras cosas, el Acuerdo Multilateral de Servicios Aéreos, propuestas para un servicio de ferry regional y un registro de seguridad más sencillo para los pasajeros en tránsito.
Caricom mantiene firme posición de no injerencia en Venezuela
El primer ministro de San Cristóbal y Nieves, Timothy Harris, afirmó que la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom) está unida en su posición de no injerencia en Venezuela, país que sufre el asedio del Gobierno de Estados Unidos (EE.UU.).
“Nuestra comunidad está orgullosa de nuestra postura y de nuestros esfuerzos para ayudar al pueblo de Venezuela (…) el diálogo es la única manera de lograr una solución”, afirmó este martes Harris durante la inauguración de la 30 de la Reunión Interseccional de jefes de Estado del Caricom, que concluirá este miércoles en la capital de San Cristóbal y Nieves.
El gobernante insistió en que la posición de principios adoptada por Caricom, que trabaja con países de ideas afines, ha impedido, hasta el momento, “una catástrofe en nuestras fronteras. Seguiremos instando a que el diálogo sea la única manera de lograr una solución duradera”.
Este martes, el canciller de Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, denunció que su país está sujeto a una agresión internacional liderada por el Gobierno de Estados Unidos (EE.UU.) y sus aliados para lograr una intervención militar.
En el marco de la sesión extraordinaria del Consejo de Seguridad de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) convocada por EE.UU., el diplomático indicó que “países poderosos y otros países que se subordinan, cuando países como EE.UU. y Colombia organizan una agresión contra la soberanía de un pueblo libre”.
Arreaza alertó que las pretensiones de EE.UU. ponen en riesgo la paz y la seguridad de América Latina, ya que “es un proceso que ha violado en todas sus partes esta Carta de las Naciones Unidas”.
En el marco de la sesión del Consejo de Seguridad, la representante de Surinam afirmó que en nombre de la mayoría de los países miembros del Caricom, rechaza cualquier acto y uso de la fuerza que viola el derecho internacional y los principios de la Carta de la ONU.
CARICOM Chairman Calls For Repositioning of Grouping to Address Challenges
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Timothy Harris, has urged his fellow regional Heads of Government to take the necessary steps to reposition the 15-member regional bloc in order to face its challenges.
“We must harness our collective wisdom, identify our competitive strengths and use our creativity to carve out a space for us to thrive,” he said today during his remarks at the opening ceremony of the two-day 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.
Prime Minister Harris noted that as efforts are made to reposition the regional body, CARICOM nations must also “confront the inequities being visited upon us by forging strong alliances, by strong, sustained advocacy and by cleverly using the avenues open to us to contest the unjust actions of the international community.”
He further indicated that innovative thinking and the collective intellectual capacity of the region are critically important if they are to achieve this goal.
“Our Community possesses enough of both to design solutions and craft responses to the challenges that have been thrust upon us,” Prime Minister Harris said.
Furthermore, the Kittitian leader said the complex challenges facing small island developing states such as CARICOM nations, cannot be confronted individually.
“Together we can forge a path and find creative solutions to ensure progress towards sustainable development. That will be a true demonstration of the power of unity,” he added.
Harris assumed chairmanship of CARICOM on January 1, 2019 from the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness.
Opening Remarks by PM Andrew Holness, Outgoing Chair of CARICOM, 30th Intersessional Mtng CHOG, St. Kitts & Nevis, 26 Feb. 2019
On behalf of my Delegation, I must first, express deepest appreciation to the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the warm welcome and hospitality, and for the gracious arrangements that have been made for our stay in your beautiful country.
As outgoing Chairman, I wish to also thank my colleague Heads of Government for their support and assistance during my tenure. They have given of their advice and expertise and have been ever ready to help in the service of our great Region. I must also thank the Secretary- General, Ambassador LaRocque and his team for their untiring professional support; as well as our development partners from the international community, for their continued valuable assistance to the Region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are living in unusual times. Seismic shifts are taking place in the international system; a system which now finds itself in profound instability and uncertainty. Great power competition, increasing suspicion, and surges of nationalism and populism have put the current international order under strain. As a region, we must remain true to our core principles and we must also act decisively and strategically to seize opportunities that the changing world circumstances present, in the interests of the development of our countries and our people.
During my tenure as Chairman of the Conference, the focus was primarily on overcoming the inertia which has, for too long, characterized our regional mechanisms, and significantly impaired our ability to simply get things done. It was also important for us to press for progress on matters which would enable the average Caribbean man and woman to experience CARICOM in a real and tangible way, through implementation of the free movement regime.
I was honoured to have been able to serve the Community over a period which has been marked by some noteworthy achievements, including the successful hosting of the 39thRegular Meeting of the Conference last July in Montego Bay, where we made a giant leap forward to respond to the concerns of our community nationals that they be treated fairly, with respect and dignity. In this regard, we adopted the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry, and agreed to implement them by August 2018.
Another historic step was taken during the 39th Session by some Member States who demonstrated their firm commitment to ensure that the free movement of skills provisions in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) Regime not only work for the principal beneficiaries, but also their families, through the signature of the Protocol on Contingent Rights.Ten countries have so far signed that Protocol.
Importantly, we placed attention on fast tracking the long overdue inventory of our institutions, systems and processes, inspiring a bold assessment of how we utilized the last 45 years and the extent to which we delivered on the commitments we had immortalized in the Georgetown Accord.This effort was greatly facilitated by the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks. I am gratified that the Conference has allowed for extensive discussions on the recommendations outlined in the Report. It is our hope that it will continue to serve as a useful analytical tool to assist us in determining what could be of most benefit to achieving our objectives going forward.
As agreed in July, several Heads met in September in the Prime Ministerial Sub Committee chaired by Prime Minister Mottley and again in a Special Session in December 2018 where we followed through on our agreement to discuss more fully and frankly the CCRC Report and implementation of the CSME. The meeting was graciously hosted by Prime Minister Rowley in Port of Spain and delivered the St Ann’s Declaration which cemented our resolve that we must give impetus to the CSME. Among other decisions accordingly, we reclaimed the objective of economic growth and development and emphasized the central role of the private sector and labour in assisting the Region on this path.
The importance of the private sector to spur growth and development in our Region has been further recognized by the agreement to take all necessary steps to allow for mutual recognition of companies incorporated in a CARICOM Member State. The trimming of the red tape within our domestic space can provide greater opportunity for intra-regional investment, cross-border fertilization and increase private sector interest and collaboration.
In addition, in order to diversify the range of skills available under the free movement regime, we have decided that Agricultural Workers and Security Guards will be added to the agreed categories of skilled nationals who will be entitled to move freely and seek employment within the Community. We also confirmed that Beauty Service Practitioners and Barbers can move and work as artistes. Indeed, these are significant elements that will help to debunk the myth that free movement of skilled personnel caters only for a few.
Strategic engagement with our external partners remains of critical importance to furthering our development agenda. This is why much of my focus was geared towards strengthening relations with our bilateral, regional and international development partners. This includes our engagements with the Presidents of Chile and Cuba during the 39th Session of Heads.
In July 2018, I represented the Community at the BRICS Plus Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the opportunity was used to reiterate the urgent need for Caribbean countries to gain access to new sources of financial support for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. I assured them that CARICOM stands ready to work with our partners in support of multilateralism.to further the cause of sustainable and inclusive economic development, and to translate our support into action and prosperity for our peoples.
In November 2018, I represented our Community at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires and it was a fruitful engagement. As I had reported to the 18th Special Session I had the opportunity to speak in the Plenary to two topics that are of critical importance to our Community –the issue of the vulnerability of the small developing states of the Caribbean to the effects of Climate Change, and the need for transition to clean and sustainable sources of energy, particularly renewables. With specific reference to climate change, I was able to have my first meeting with President Macron of France, where we were joined by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres to discuss the modalities for leading our joint mandate to galvanize the US $100 billion committed almost 10 years ago by developed countries.
In conclusion, having made these bold steps and issued our strong joint recommitment to the regional process, it would be a disservice to ourselves and to our people if we do not deliver. It falls to us now to ensure that our collective visions are always balanced by monitoring our actual achievements and evaluating our capacity to implement. Where getting off the marks has been slower than anticipated, we must lengthen our stride. Even if the wicket is sticky, we must face the challenges bravely, with success as our goal.
Jamaica is honoured to have been entrusted by all of you to serve as Chair.
PM Harris, I and my team look forward to working with you and the Secretariat in our continued efforts to deliver prosperity for our people. We wish you every success during your tenure as Chair.
I thank you.