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Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings by admin | 18 May 2006 | Release Ref #: 92/2006 | 2511

    Madam Deputy Secretary-General,
    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is with honour that I present to you Letters accrediting me as Ambassador of Barbados to the Caribbean Community.

    Allow me to begin by thanking you for the warm welcome which you are extending to me today in these excellent new facilities that now house the CARICOM Secretariat.

    It is a great honour and privilege for me to have been asked by my country to perform these duties as Ambassador, at a time when the Community is entering a critical phase in its existence and making strides as never before.

    As my Prime Minister and my Minister of Foreign Affairs have both said and demonstrated, Barbados’ commitment to the goals of CARICOM is unwavering. We take some pride from being founding members of both CARIFTA and CARICOM. The vigour with which, for example, Prime Minister Arthur has discharged his responsibilities as Prime Minister with lead responsibility for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy within the Quasi-Cabinet bear testimony to this commitment. I hope to be able to contribute to this in some small way.

    The CSME is, unquestionably, at this juncture a principal focus of the Community. Its implementation represents the best way of maximising the Region’s productive capacities and, consequently, the best way of managing the sometimes stressful impacts of increased economic globalisation and liberalisation. In this regard, the Regional Development Fund constitutes a cornerstone of the edifice of the single market and economy, addressing imbalances in the region, between and within Member States. Arrangements for our Single Economy will solidify and complete an architecture that will facilitate the reaping of the benefits of our pooled resources and harmonised structures.

    Equally important to the region’s success is the coordination of the Community’s foreign policy. While CARICOM states may not have identical interests in every single aspect of international relations, they share a fundamental commonality of interests and therefore also equally share an overwhelming number of goals.

    I can reaffirm Barbados’ commitment to “singing from the same hymn sheet” as the expression goes. We must remind ourselves that individual small voices will simply not be heard on the international stage, and we owe it to the peoples of this region for their voice be heard from a body with coordinated policies and positions

    Madam Deputy Secretary-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The Caribbean Community we all have the honour to serve is charged with the immense task of assisting the region in achieving its development goals through the process of integration. Barbados remains deeply committed to this task and I can assure you that I will do my utmost to make a useful contribution.

    I wish to take this opportunity to recognize here the record left by my predecessor Mr. Nigel Barrow, for his notable representation to CARICOM, and for his contribution to the work of this institution, especially during the preparations for the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

    I am obliged to you.