Barbados and Suriname have underlined the importance of youth involvement in the regional integration movement.
A release from CARICOM on Friday said that the sentiments were expressed on Thursday when their new Ambassadors to CARICOM, David Comissiong of Barbados and Chantal Elsenhout of Suriname, presented their Letters of Credence to CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque. The accreditation ceremony took place at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown.
Comissiong in his remarks said that the active engagement of the youth was vital to “advance the CARICOM project.”
“The future of the Caribbean will be achieved through the involvement of our young people. Geographical boundaries do not exist in the minds of our young people. They fully recognize the Caribbean space as theirs to exploit, with or without the help of Governments, but beyond that they see the whole world as their horizon,” he said, according to the CARICOM release.
Elsenhout said her country considers it important, “to constantly invest in our youth.”
“Suriname reiterates its commitment to the work in the social and economic development of this group in the Region. We are looking forward to closely working together on projects and programmes to enhance youth participation, sports and cultural people to people contact within our country,” she added, according to the release.
LaRocque acknowledged the role being played by Surinamese President Desi Bouterse.
“These are important elements of Community life to which President Bouterse has demonstrated great commitment and dedicated leadership,” he stated.
The Secretary-General also lauded the impetus that Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados brought to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy since her election earlier this year.
Comissiong noted that his Prime Minister is endeavouring to “reenergise the successful implementation of the CSME, with the ultimate goal of the sustainable development of individual member states and the long-term sustainability and success of CARICOM.”
LaRocque said that as the Community approaches 2019, the final year of the first Community Strategic Plan, he said that much work is still to be done, while planning for a second five-year Plan is already underway.