The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to promote and seek support for its development priorities through partnerships with Latin American and other development partners.
This week, CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Dr Armstrong Alexis made a presentation to a new cycle of the Latin American and Caribbean Programme (LACRP), a sub-grouping of the global Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The LACRP has as its areas of focus, productivity, social inclusion, governance and sustainable development.
In the area of sustainable development, the Deputy Secretary-General told the meeting that in this last decade of the 2030 Development Agenda, CARICOM will prioritise interventions in Disaster Risk Reduction, compensation for loss and damage, adaptation, food security, management and conservation of the fisheries resources of the region, and enabling mechanisms to access climate financing.
“The Caribbean Community Secretariat (CCS), backed by its 15 Member States, will use every opportunity during formal negotiations and meetings of high political relevance to champion our call for climate justice,” Dr Alexis informed the meeting.
On increased productivity, the DSG identified CARICOM’s Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Agriculture which is targeting the reduction of the Region’s food import bill by 25 percent by the year 2025, an initiative which will help to rebalance trade and save the Region more than US$2 billion a year. He also highlighted the recent CARICOM Heads’ decision to assign lead responsibility for Industrial Policy to the President of Suriname, as the Region pursues regional and national industrial policies guided by principles of green growth and low-carbon development strategies.
Dr Alexis indicated that the 2022-2025 period will focus on enhancing governance mechanisms that will set the basis for the Community to maximise economies of scale and promote the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as the main avenue for achieving the regional development agenda. He also noted that CARICOM remains committed to helping its Member State Haiti with its ongoing challenges, and that CARICOM Heads of Government, at last month’s Inter-Sessional Meeting in Belize, agreed to deploy a Team to determine how best to support democratic governance, peace, security and social development in the country.
The DSG said CARICOM will strengthen social inclusion by focusing on human resource development, youth development and gender equity, health sector development, culture and community development, and crime and security.