Suriname President Desi Bouterse Takes Over as CARICOM Chairman

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 6, 2012

Above: Suriname President Desi Bouterse (UN Photo/Marco Castro)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Suriname President Desi Bouterse has taken over as CARICOM Chairman, following the completed term of St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas as chairman.

“By changing the way we do things, this Community will be a changed one — for the better — by the end of 2012,” Bouterse said.

“The global economic and financial crisis shows no signs of abating, with the resulting challenges of unemployment, low or negative growth and increasing disparity between the rich and the poor,” Bouterse said in his first address as chairman. “Given the relationship between the economic health of the major nations and its effect on us in CARICOM, it requires a major effort to overcome the challenges presented by this ongoing situation.”

The president said it was the task of CARICOM to lead the change.

“We stand a better chance to confront these challenges as a group united, than each swimming against the tide alone,” he said.

He also expressed confidence in CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, pledging to emphasize enhanced awareness of the efforts being undertaken by the regional body.

“We must ensure that the people of the Community feel the impact and recognize the benefits that come to them from integration,” he said. “In 2012, we will increase our focus and attention on these areas, and on ways the population can more readily feel the benefits.”

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