CARICOM’s LaRocque: Global Environment “Not Waiting on Us”


By the Caribbean Journal staff

There is optimism on the regional integration movement within the Caribbean, but it may be time to prioritise the agenda, CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said in a speech to the 33rd Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development in Georgetown today.

“I have been encouraged by the hope and support for the integration movement, even as there has been exasperation at, what some have seen as, the slow progress or even stagnation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy,” he said.

LaRocque said there was particular frustration at the perceived inconsistent application of, and, in some cases, non-adherence to the directions of CARICOM organs — with one concern revolving around the procedure for issuance and recognition of skills certificates.

Widespread unease over the length of time that some issues remain unresolved has caused Caribbean stakeholders to “call into question whether we are focused enough or committed sufficiently to take the required actions,” he said. “Perhaps the time has come for us to prioritise our agenda in a strategic manner.”

LaRocque said the onus was on CARICOM and its member states to do what was necessary to advance Caribbean integration.

“While our capacity may be constrained,” he said. “The global environment is not waiting on us.”