Chastanet says CARICOM summit ‘fruitful’

Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has described a two-day intersessional summit of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that ended in Haiti on Tuesday as being ‘ very fruitful.’

‘I thought that the prime ministers came very serious. I think that we are all frustrated with how long it traditionally takes  to get things  done on decisions that are made in CARICOM,’ Chastanet told reporters here on his return from the meeting.

He expressed the view that there was a greater level of ‘focus’ at the Haiti session.

‘I think the Prime Ministers wanted to be reassured that not only were we making decisions, but time lines were given for implementation,’ Chastanet explained.

‘I also believe that people want to hold everybody much more accountable for the decisions we are making and I think there is a greater sense of urgency is building up,’ he asserted.

According to Chastanet, the issues of climate change, crime and  the regional marketing campaign were at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the Haiti summit.

He noted that fruitful discussions were held on those matters.

‘Other areas like the CCJ – in which there was a general commitment by  a lot of countries initially to be able to join and yet how many years afterwards, that has not happened,’ the Saint Lucia PM noted.

He expressed the opinion that the paper produced by former Jamaica Prime Minister, Bruce Golding was very timely.

Golding chaired a CARICOM Review Commission which made a number of  proposals aimed at addressing the structural and organisational deficiencies in the regional organisation and recommended that Jamaica establish closer ties with Northern Caribbean countries

Chastanet said the leaders did not get a chance to discuss the paper in any formal detail.

‘But I think there will be a meeting that will be taking place in July when the heads of government meeting will be taking place in Jamaica and some time will be  set aside to discuss it. But I think that the document – the paper is extremely timely and it really is an important crossroad for CARICOM to make the decision as to what we are going to do. Are we going to stick together and see the benefit of sticking together, or are we going to change what we are doing?’ He declared.

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