General / Weekend News

CARICOM discusses its future

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Several international organizations gathered in Trinidad and Tobago this week for the “Forum on the future of the Caribbean.”

The three-day conference, which began on Tuesday, was hosted by the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.

The conference gathered representatives from the University of the West Indies (UWI), the United Nations (UN), the Commonwealth, CARICOM, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) under the theme ‘Disruptive thinking; Bold Action; Practical Outcomes.’

Speaking at the conference, (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said that the Community should give consideration to the influence of critical international events including the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in July; the United Nations Summit on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in September and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December.

“All of these processes will have a significant policy and agenda-shaping impact on the nature of international development priorities and relations. They will also influence the forms and sources of assistance and resources available,” LaRocque said.

CARICOM, which was established in 1973 by the treaty of Chaguramas, has been pushing for integration of its member states through the Single Market Economy. The community has held numerous activities in order to strengthen this integration, including a partnership agreement with the government of Canada in 2014 to enhance communications between member states.

Since 2012 CARICOM has been making strides to rebrand and refocus the community’s efforts. Secretary General Irwin LaRocque led a delegation on a tour of the region meeting various stakeholders and finding out what they would like to see come from the secretariat.

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