CARIFORUM: Great benefit in strengthened regional relations
From the CARICOM Secretariat
Greater Georgetown, Guyana – A regional consultation on effective platforms for wider Caribbean dialogue being hosted by the CARIFORUM Directorate has been described as a timely initiative by CARIFORUM Director-General Percival Marie and Ambassador of the European Union Delegation in Barbados Her Excellency Daniela Tramacere. They were speaking at the opening of the consultation being held at the Radisson Aquatic Resort in Barbados, April 11-12.
According to Marie, the consultation was timely because at a special meeting of the Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM in March in St. Kitts and Nevis came to the agreement that building and maintaining relationships among the countries was of great benefit to the region. He said further that at this point in time, the relationship had to be strengthened, particularly in light some of the events of the last two years that demonstrated that despite the differences in language and constitution, there were common issues and fates.
“We need to assist each other in times of need; we have to find ways to institutionalise the response that we give to each other,” he remarked.
In expressing similar sentiments, Ambassador Tramacere said the region should strengthen the wider Caribbean relationship as current conditions being experienced in relation to hurricanes, climate change and infectious diseases did not allow the region not to do so.
“The Caribbean is facing fundamental challenges and these challenges can only be overtaken if the countries work together,” she said.
Tramacereencouraged the gathering to be creative when coming up with ideas and suggestions for collaboration and cooperation during the sessions. “We have to think out of the box and reflect on which kind of Caribbean you want to build for the future,” she said. “We are a reliable and steady partner and we are ready to support it.”
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados the Hon. Steven Blackett also spoke at the opening. He used the opportunity to express his support for the consultative efforts. He said Barbados remained fully supportive of the endeavours, which according to him serve to draw the region even closer. He also commended the CARIFORUM Directorate for the initiative and thanked the European Union for remaining a committed development partner.
The consultation is being funded under the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme through a dedicated Technical Cooperation Facility (TCF) which, in part, aims to strengthen cooperation among CARIFORUM states, the French Caribbean Outermost (FCORs) and Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).