GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday December 23, 2014, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque says 2014 has been a “milestone” for the 15-member regional grouping.
In an end of year message released here Monday, La Rocque said that the “milestone” is as a result of the Community’s Five Year Strategic Plan being approved by regional leaders at their summit in Antigua in July.
He said the 2015-19 plan seeks to ensure that CARICOM “is in a position to withstand the effects of events such as the global economic and financial crises and provides the way forward for pursuing sustainable growth and development as a region.
“Growth and development are critical factors in providing jobs and business opportunities,” he said, adding that implementation of this plan is a major step in CARICOM’s on-going Reform process “as we seek to become more efficient, accountable and above all, increase our responsiveness to the needs of the Community.
“You the people of the region should therefore more readily feel the difference that integration makes in your lives. You will continue to benefit from our collective efforts in health as demonstrated by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
“We are also placing emphasis on developing our human resources, particularly our youth by taking a thorough look at our education system. The exciting prospect of a single CARICOM ICT Space which would lower the cost of telephone calls and internet access will be pursued,” La Rocque said.
He said these possibilities have only become reality through the region working as one, and more can be achieved with your participation and support.
“The integration movement has never been more important than at this time. Integration is our route to achieving sustainable development and to delivering the quality of life that our people expect and deserve.
“The coming year, therefore, would mark for us in CARICOM, the continuation of a dynamic period in our determined efforts to create a sustainable, secure and viable Community for all our peoples,” La Rocque added.