During his speech, the Trinidadian politician made a brief review of the work of the organization during his term, marked by the negative impact of COVID-19.
He also referenced natural disasters such as the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the floods in Guyana and Suriname, and the damage caused by Hurricane Elsa.
In this regard, the Premier of Trinidad and Tobago reiterated the vulnerability of the small Caribbean islands to the effects of climate change, and the need for Caricom to continue to coordinate responses to these problems to assure life and sustainable development in the region.
Rowley also highlighted the Caricom member countries' united stance on COVID-19, and the coordinated fight for equal access to vaccines.
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr the Hon Keith Rowley delivered a statement as Outgoing CARICOM Chairman at the 42nd Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM today.
"In confronting the pandemic head-on, our initial position on equitable access to vaccines...anchored our region's actions and continues to resonate globally, especially among developing countries," he said.
This, he continued, "has brought us closer to our goal of vaccinating as many of our citizens as possible, to ensure that they are protected from the evolving mutations of the virus."
Speaking about immunization against the disease caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the politician applauded the solidarity professed among Caricom member countries, calling this exemplary response one of the organization's principal achievements.
"The solidarity that exists among us, the respect, the affection, the spirit of community, should not be taken lightly and should be nurtured and praised," he said.
The head of government of Trinidad and Tobago similarly applauded the work of outgoing Secretary General Irving LaRocque at the helm of Caricom, and saluted his replacement, Carla Barnett.