(Barbados Nation) CARICOM is not dead!
That is the view of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who returned home this afternoon from the 23rd intercessional meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government which was held in Suriname.
Stuart, held a press conference at the VIP lounge, Grantley Adams International Airport, on his arrival home, to update members of the media on issues discussed at the high level meeting.
He explained that a report which was commissioned by a previous conference on the CARICOM Secretariat formed most of the discussion at the meeting.
That report, he said, made the point that CARICOM was in crisis. But Stuart said many of the leaders did not share that view.
“There were some Heads who felt that the language of the report was a bit extravagant and in some cases did not reflect the reality of the regional integration movement”, he stated.
He pointed out that the view was also expressed that the Secretariat needed to be restructured and made more relevant to the functions which it is supposed to carry out.
The report, he added, attracted “much discussion” and a decision was taken by those present that it would be studied “more closely” and that the Bureau of Heads would work along with the Secretariat and commission the assistance of other heads of government, to ensure that the more important recommendations were carried out.
“There is a high level of enthusiasm on the part of CARICOM leaders for the regional integration movement and that was reflective in the discussions we had on the future of the movement”, Stuart stated.
He said it was also agreed that all issues relating to the Secretariat should be ready for the next conference in July.