Regional integration, once fully achieved, may very well make the difference in affording small states such as Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, and other Caricom countries, a plethora of advantages both in their personal development and as a unified bloc.
This is according to Dr. Mark Kirton, senior lecturer at the University of West Indies’ Institute of International Relations, speaking at the institute’s seminar on “Prospects and Challenges for Caricom States in the Pursuit of Regional Integration.”
Kirton said that considering the reconfiguration of the Western Hemisphere, it is crucial for Caricom countries to put aside the hurdles that have for so long hindered the full implementation of Caricom. “As things continue to change there is more and more a need for countries to speak with one voice,” he said.
He added that in today’s international system, integration is not only important for economic development, but also for security, environmental protection, health and infrastructural development. He said, however, that a lack of human and financial resources in small states may pose a challenge to integration to deal with these new issues.
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