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The Trinidadian Prime Minister encouraged making full use of the Community's CSME as a principal means of recovery.
The incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago, is channeling the regional integration movement towards stronger outcomes in the year ahead.
In his message to mark the start of 2021, Rowley pointed to the Caribbean Community's relatively successful management of the health aspects of COVID-19 in 2020 and says the light of the end of the tunnel will be the vaccine, which “provides the possibility of relief from the health and socio-economic challenges posed by the pandemic.”
“The Community has signed on to the COVAX Facility and looks forward to receiving its quota as soon as it becomes available in the New Year” said the incoming Chairman.
Dr. Rowley encourages Caricom to look internally during the upcoming recovery phase, even as some states will opt to pursue the support of International Financial Institutions.
“..we must look at making full use of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as our principal means of recovery. It is that confidence in ourselves and our institutions, our intellectual capacity and creativity, and the platform we have laid which will lead us on the path to recovery. Pursuing the plans to advance the CSME that may have been side-lined by the urgent needs of the past year must be a priority to help propel us out of the negative socio-economic outlook that has been forecast.”
“Let this be the year that we make CARICOM work for us, as we build back better and construct the resilient society that will provide a safe, prosperous and viable Community for all of us. We have the tools to do it. 2021 must be the Year of CARICOM.”
“As Chairman of the Caribbean Community, I wish you all a Happy New Year and please stay safe.”
Outgoing Chairman of Caricom, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, gave his End of Year Statement on December 23, paying tribute to scientists, medical staff and from-line workers for their services, saying the vaccine is the best gift that can be bestowed this season.
Gonsalves reflected 2020, occasioned by his country’s incorporation in the United Nations Security Council, where it had the honor of assuming the Presidency of the Council for the month of November.