Your Excellency Irwin LaRocque, I bring you greetings from your home country, Dominica, and it is with great humility that I present my Credentials to you as the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
We are quite aware of the importance of the Regional Integration Movement to our people in the Caribbean, and the achievements of CARICOM to date are many. However, CARICOM is forging ahead in the planning and implementation of programmes aimed at providing increased benefits to Caribbean citizens.
I am quite pleased and excited to be joining the CARICOM family at a time when there is the overwhelming desire to make the organization more effective and efficient. I refer to the Reform Process in train to have CARICOM deliver an improved service.
As the Change Driver appointed by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica to CARICOM, I had the honour to coordinate the National Consultations in Dominica for the CARICOM Change Team that visited in September 2013. I was very impressed with the level of participation from the people of Dominica, who responded to the CARICOM Team with great enthusiasm. Your Excellency, I will present to you pictures that capture the tremendous interaction between the Team and Dominican Nationals. I can assure you that we are looking forward towards the finalization of the New Strategic Plan for CARICOM.
Caribbean people are interested in the Free Movement of people, goods and services as outlined in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). In Dominica, the movement of Finance was identified as a priority item during the consultations, and many people echoed the need for equality and justice as pillars of Caribbean Integration.
Before I end, I must commend the Secretary-General for the emphasis being placed on the Youth. As we all know, the future of any Institution rests with the Youth and given the programmes being developed and implemented on behalf of the Youth, I daresay that the future for CARICOM looks bright.
In concluding this short Statement, I wish to, once again, express the support of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica to you, Your Excellency and your Staff.
On behalf of myself and family, I wish you and your Staff much success in the future, as I pledge to make a meaningful contribution towards the Regional Integration Movement.
I thank everyone for the attention.