LaRocque: CARICOM in “Reform Process”
Above: CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Forty years after its establishment, the Caribbean Community is the longest surviving integration grouping among developing countries, second only to the European Union, according to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque.
And while the region has a lot to celebrate in that regard, LaRocque said he was mindful that “more could have been done” over the last forty years.
“We are all aware of the shortcomings that we must address,” the Secretary General said of the movement. “In full recognition of this, the Community is involved in a reform process to ensure that our arrangements are relevant and can deliver even more tangible benefits going forward.”
LaRocque was addressing the Heads of Government meeting in Port of Spain this week.
“This enterprise to which we have channeled our energy over the last 40 years is our engine for growth and development over the next forty and beyond,” he said. “For where will we be as a people, where will our youth, if there is no Caribbean Community? Integration of the Caribbean Community is no esoteric ideal but a hard headed reality.”
He pointed to apparent successes like the founding of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the CARICOM Youth Ambassador programme and technical cooperation with third countries, among others.
“The same reality that drove the founding fathers to sign that Treaty forty years ago impels us now,” he said. “Let us recommit ourselves, each and every one of us, to ensuring the success of a Caribbean Community that provides a safe, secure, viable and prosperous society that is the envy of all.”