As CARICOM Chair, Prime Minister Harris develops an even deeper appreciation for regional integration

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 26, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris assumed the Chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on January 01, 2019, and in just a few weeks at the helm of the regional body, the honourable prime minister was called upon to lead diplomatic efforts aimed at dissolving the unstable political climate in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

“It has been a busy introduction to the Chairmanship of CARICOM,” Prime Minister Harris admitted while addressing the opening session of the 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM today (Tuesday, February 26).

“What that has done however, is to strengthen my belief in the value of the integration movement. It has also made me better appreciate the role of the Chairman, the high investment of time and other resources which our integration efforts require,” Dr. Harris added, while at the same time commending the staff of the CARICOM Secretariat for their outstanding work.

Under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Harris, the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM held two Special Meetings to discuss the regional body’s position and courses of action on the evolving political situation in Venezuela.

Dr. Harris noted, “I along with the Prime Ministers of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago and the Secretary-General travelled to New York on behalf of the Community to meet with the United Nations Secretary-General and other high representatives there, and later we travelled to Montevideo, Uruguay. All of this we had done to put forward the Community’s case with respect to developments in Venezuela.”

The strong leadership exercised by Prime Minister Harris in the face of this internationally sensitize matter was recognized by the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

“The leadership role has been passed seamlessly to the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who has taken in stride a hectic and challenging schedule that has been thrust upon him due primarily to events in our wider region over the past two months. Principal among those has been the efforts to secure a peaceful resolution of the crisis that has engulfed over neighboring country, Venezuela,” the CARICOM Secretary-General stated.

During a visit to Guyana in late January, Prime Minister Harris held discussions with the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Brigadier David Granger, on several CARICOM related issues, and also called on the Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.

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