CARICOM Council of Ministers meeting in Guyana

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The 35th meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council of Ministers began in Guyana on Friday with delegates considering the revised implementation plan of the Five-Year Strategic Plan 2015-19 as part of the reform process of the 15-member regional integration movement.


CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque told the meeting that the approval of the Caribbean governments of the Strategic Plan last July "marked a significant moment" in the reform process of the Community.


He said following on that approval, attention has turned to implementation and more specifically preparation of an Implementation Plan adding that a draft of the plan had been discussed Wednesday among the three implementing partners, the member states, the regional institutions and the CARICOM Secretariat.


"This Council will consider the revised Implementation Plan today profiting from the results of the rich engagement among the implementing partners earlier this week," La Rocque said, noting that "the positive energy that infused those fruitful discussions was a sign of the readiness of the parties to begin their work on fulfilling the objectives of the Strategic Plan to the benefit of the people of the Community".


He said there was a full appreciation that each stakeholder had a role to play in the successful implementation of the plan and that "the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by all parties involved is testimony to the strong belief in the Strategic Plan's potential to assist the member states in meeting and defeating their current challenges".


He said the regional institutions have worked closely with the Secretariat in designing the initial draft of the Implementation Plan and that this is the kind of collaboration envisaged in the Strategic Plan.


"The member states, the beneficiaries of successful implementation, also have been playing their part. Their input into the revised document before the Council today elaborated the relationship between the national and regional agendas."


La Rocque said that this new mode of operation within CARICOM is geared towards ensuring cohesion and working towards achieving common goals.


"The idea for the Committee had been accepted by the Heads of Government in 2010 and since then the proposed role and functions of such a body have evolved through discussions in various fora within the Community.


"In the context of the Strategic Plan, the Committee is seen as providing that essential link between the national and regional agendas as well as being focused on implementation of the Plan. During the discussions on Tuesday, the view was widely expressed that each member state should establish a structure at the national level to support the effective functioning of the Committee," he said.


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