April 28, 2014 | 4:21 am | Print
Above: Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Following Martinique Regional Council President Serge Letchimy’s historic visit to the CARICOM Heads of Government conference in St Vincent this year, CARICOM is continuing to explore the possibility of accepting Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana as associate members.
That was revealed this week by CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who said that CARICOM was “in the process of understanding various constitutional arrangements to allow for a dialogue in the not-too-distant future.”
Ties with the Caribbean’s French departments were part of a wider relationship with France LaRocque said he hoped would continue.
“It would be a pity if our people don’t have a focus on working together, not only for regional concerns like security but other bilateral matters,” LaRocque said during the accreditation ceremony of France’s new Ambassador to CARICOM, Michel Prom.
LaRocque also said he hoped France would consider resuming its non-borrowing membership of the Caribbean Development Bank, something he said would “further strengthen relations not only with France and its Departments, but also with CARICOM’s French Speaking Member State, Haiti.”
And given France’s influence in the European Union, the Secretary General sought its advocacy on the issue of the EU’s graduating middle-income countries from concessionary funding.