Antigua-Barbuda to host major CARICOM development forum

St John’s, Antigua — “CARICOM Overcoming Challenges: Pathway to Development” is the focus of a major regional forum to be held in Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

Prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Brown, will be among the forum’s list of high level presenters, drawn from the Caribbean Community, the EU delegation to the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Organisation of American States and the Caribbean Court of Justice.

The presenters will share their insights in five thematic areas:

  1. CARICOM’s strategic development plan and measures to achieve economic stability
  2. The role of the private sector in addressing Caribbean economic challenges: policy prescription
  3. The Caribbean today and beyond
  4. Good governance and electoral reform, and
  5. The role of the Caribbean Court of Justice within the context of the Revised CARICOM Treaty

Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to CARICOM, Dr Clarence Henry, said the forum’s objectives are to sensitise the public about the CARICOM strategic plan and the reform process of the integration architecture including its governance arrangements.

The CARICOM strategic plan, approved by heads of government in July 2014, has set the region on a path to reposition the Community through a development agenda that encompasses a review of the region’s development needs; a resilience model for socio-economic progress; strategies to renew the commitment to and strengthen actions for enhancing regional unity; and reform of the Community’s governance mechanism.

As a framework for action, the strategic plan allows for selection of, and agreement on, a narrow range of actions to be pursued each year, in pursuit of the region’s development goals. The plan also outlines the implementing imperatives, strategic and change management modalities, with the necessary monitoring, measurement and evaluation frameworks.

It represents the latest thrust by CARICOM to advance the integration process, particularly through facilitating the implementation of decisions taken. Consultations with stakeholders at the national level will therefore help to streamline proposals to the organs and bodies of the Community; provide new ideas and offer different perspectives and thinking which collectively can add value to the process of addressing the many challenges.

“…the development and implementation of the plan are aimed at addressing several issues that have plagued real progress with the implementation of the integration project, as well as the responsiveness of the Community to the realities affecting member states. We must always be minded that the strength of the Community comes from the collective,” Henry said.

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