St Kitts PM calls for Caricom overhaul

(Barbados Nation) A comprehensive overhaul.

That’s what Caricom Chairman Dr Denzil Douglas believes is immediately needed to get the regional movement in high gear.

Speaking to the media on Day Three of the Heads of Government conference, St Kitts Prime Minister Douglas said at the top of the list is a complete review of the secretariat and all of the related Caribbean institutions.

“The review of the secretariat and all of the institutions of Caricom is going to be critical in moving forward,” he said yesterday.

The Caricom Chairman also endorsed the vision of the “founding fathers” of the movement but said there was a need to slow down their intentions.

“The challenges unfolding around the world called to slow down the pace a bit and look at a more realistic calibration of where we need to go in the integration movement. The road map outlined by founding fathers needs to be followed but the pace needs to be slowed down,” he added.

He also noted that the proposal for a single market and economy of the region must be tackled in stages to become a reality.

“The issue of the realisation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy is another thing. We realised we are stuck at the market stage. How can we advance to the economy stage when we realised there are issues to be dealt with at the market stage?

“Let’s put a hold at the moment on the realisation of the single economy. Let us get right all of the issues pertaining to the attainment of the single market.”

Giving an overview of the talks to date, Douglas said leaders mainly dealt with the reality of the challenges facing the world and the effects on the regional movement.

“The economy, for example, what sectors are we going to concentrate on in realising our goal of job creation and improving the quality of life for people of the Caribbean. How are we going to ensure that tourism, which has had a very hard hit in this recessionary period, and how can we re-create tourism in a way that it can continue to be a leading productive sector for the people of the Caribbean region,” he added.

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