CARICOM SG encourages Regional Leaders to confront challenges to regional movement now

CARICOM SG encourages Regional Leaders to confront challenges to regional movement now

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and though satisfied with the progress made by the Community over the last 50 years, CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett, believes the time is now to confront those challenges.

The Secretary General made the comments while addressing the opening of the 45th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Barnett raised the issue of CARICOM’s high food import bill, which is averaging around US$5 Billion annually.

CARICOM has set a target to reduce that bill by 25%, by 2025, and Guyana is leading in that effort.

“The thrust to reduce the food important bill by 25% by 25% is gathering momentum, the urgency of advancing our digital agenda and our regional digital development strategy is also gaining momentum,” Dr. Barnett said.

Dr. Barnett said CARICOM also needs to tackle the continuing political and social instability in Haiti.

She said the violence and political troubles in sister CARICOM state have caused a headache for the community, but was quick to point out that the community is in another push to bring stability to the country.

It was explained that a Task Team has been established within CARICOM, with the objective of bringing an end to the issues in Haiti.

Additionally, the Secretary General said the next 50 years of CARICOM must be about young people, noting that governments in the region have been pushing areas of technology, and entrepreneurship among young people.

“Further, a significant part of our agro-food agenda  is encouraging young people into the sector, utilizing the new tools of I.T enabled protected agriculture, to increase the productivity and build sustainable livelihoods,” Dr. Barnett said.

According to the CARICOM Secretary General, despite global challenegs and other issues such as climate change, the achievements of the past five decades are proof that vision and concerted action are critical to achieving sustainable prosperity and security for the region.

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