CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin laRoque pays tribute to Professor Norman Girvan

He was an unstinting advocate for Caribbean integration, with a vision that encompassed the entire region as one civilization.

The Caribbean Community and Jamaica have lost one of their most treasured sons in Professor Norman Girvan.

The gifts of ideas and vision and uncluttered thought which Professor Girvan willingly contributed to this Region for more than 40 years have left an indelible mark on the landscape of the Caribbean. His passing leaves a further void in the intellectual capital of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the wider Caribbean, this region to which he devoted his life’s work.

20140430Norman GirvanWith his contemporaries in the New World Group and at the University of the West Indies, Professor Girvan created a body of work dedicated to the economic, social, political and cultural development of the Caribbean. He was an unstinting advocate for Caribbean integration, with a vision that encompassed the entire region as one civilization.

He shared his thoughts for the future of CARICOM as the main author of “Towards a Single Development Vision and the Role of the Single Economy”, a document which set the framework for the formulation of a strategic plan for regional economic development.

Apart from his publications and his teaching at the University of the West Indies, Professor Girvan lent his skills as the second Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) demonstrating tangible proof of his commitment to integrating the wider Caribbean.

Professor Girvan’s dedication to the wider Region was recognised by the United Nations when he was appointed to conduct the Good Office process under their auspices, with respect to the border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela. It was testimony to the respect for the integrity that he earned during his life.

The Community is indebted to Professor Girvan for his prolific writings and intellectual contribution on the issues of Caribbean development. The word icon is sometimes loosely applied but in the case of this titan of Caribbean thought, it is truly deserved.

The Caribbean Community extends its deepest condolences to the wife and family of Professor Girvan as well as to the Government and people of Jamaica on his passing. May he rest in peace.

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