PM Allen Chastanet believes that CARICOM is not doing enough and a change is needed in how CARICOM goes about its business.
The new Prime Minister of St. Lucia made the remarks while speaking to journalists at the recently concluded CARICOM summit in Guyana yesterday.
“I’m a big believer in doing less, but whatever you do, do it well. In looking at it, it seems that CARICOM has a very wide agenda and I’m not so sure there are enough resources within CARICOM to deal with all the issues,” he said.
Chastanet believes that collaboration is key to the success of the regional body and that the regional countries can work together on the basics to make them work better for Caribbean citizens:
“Some of the low-lying stuff – health care, education, security – are all areas, in which, if we collaborate with each other, it does not reduce the ability for us to compete against each other. In fact, it strengthens us in terms of competing against the rest of the world,” he said.
Chastanet also said that he backs the moves by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness to review Jamaica’s role in CARICOM. Jamaica has seen debates raging on the country’s future in the organization as citizens question the benefit of the regional body to the country. This debate was triggered by trade imbalances between Jamaica and CARICOM and disputes with Trinidad and Tobago.
Chastanet went on to issue a stern warning to CARICOM:
“If families are not going to school, if people are not eating, if people are not able to build their homes as they want to because the country is using resources to attend regional meetings and we’re not seeing the benefit, it’s something I can say my government will not put up with for a very long time. It’s not a threat to CARICOM; that’s just what the reality is,” he said.
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