The seventh general meeting of Caricom (Caribbean Community), its associated institutions and the United Nations began took place in New York this week, with Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque underscoring the importance of providing aid to developing countries like those in the Caribbean, to ensure their future socio-economic development.
In addition, La Rocque, who said the forum was an excellent opportunity for discussions on issues of benefit to Caribbean people, also urged the world community to assist in the fight against crime that he said was strangling Caribbean development.
“Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, with the current global events, all of which demand your attention, it is heartening that our Caribbean Community’s biennial encounter is of sufficient importance to ensure your presence,” LaRocque said, noting that the 15-member group placed much importance on the deliberations.
“These biennial meetings are not merely ritual encounters or polite engagements, but are vital working sessions in which discussions are of necessity, strategic, pragmatic, forward-looking and results-oriented.
“The meetings provide an excellent opportunity for regional and international technical experts, who are well informed and well positioned, to exchange views, diagnose current cooperation and to identify concrete projects in specific priority areas which will yield results on the ground, ensuring tangible benefits to the citizens of the Caribbean Community.”
LaRocque said that the meeting took place at a time when the world is contemplating the future beyond the global development compact represented by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He noted that Antigua and Barbuda’s diplomat, John Ashe, was also assuming the presidency of the 68th Session of the U.N. General Assembly beginning next month, which will be crucial in setting the stage for the launch of the post-2015 agenda.
“We have a great interest in developments in relation to its elaboration, and our Community will take an active role in the deliberations with a view to ensuring that the region’s interests are adequately and effectively addressed,” he said.
“We seek an integrated, comprehensive and flexible development agenda building on the lessons learned from the MDGs and which is responsive to the diverse development realities with which individual countries and regions are confronted.”
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