Call made for regional collective action and policies to tackle economic crisis

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

ST. KITTS, JULY 7, 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has told Caribbean leaders that the world economic crisis demands corrective, collective action and policies at this most pivotal moment in human – and Caribbean – history.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 31st Heads of Government Conference of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister noted that world leaders “are now facing challenges that are vaster in scope, more demanding in complexity, and more varied in their respective component parts than any Head of Government, anywhere in the world, could have predicted just one decade ago.”

“It is at times like these, then, when the resolve of our leadership, the resolve of our people and Governments are tested. It is at times like these, then, that our collective efforts as people within our countries, as varying sectors within our countries and as countries within this beloved Caribbean Community of ours must be brought to bear. It is at times like these, then, that we must understand that the difficulty of the task at hand requires a sustained commitment, as building our Community is a never ending task,” Dr. Douglas said.

He said that the “tight spots” are by no means inconsequential as they have been wreaking havoc with nations far more powerful than Caribbean countries.

“We, nonetheless, must be resolute in our efforts to anticipate the implications of these global crises, insulate our countries and region, to the best of our abilities, from the associated fallout, and educate our people on the responsibilities that we must now all shoulder – Governments, private sectors, Churches, NGO’s, and ordinary civilians alike – in the interest of self-preservation,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He pointed out that this increasingly interconnected world has its advantages, and certainly has its costs as well.

“The global economic crisis was not of our making, but it is now very much our problem. Global climate change, also not of our making, is now of supreme relevance to us, located as we are, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn – with all that, that implies in terms of altered weather patterns, and their attendant socio-economic consequences. The unthinkable catastrophe in the Gulf cannot be charged to either our policies or our actions, yet it is already of profound and immediate concern to certain CARICOM member states. Indeed, though of currently indeterminate immediate impact where the rest of us are concerned, this catastrophe will, ultimately, have ramifications for us all,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He is of the view that the global disintegration of traditional cultures was not instigated by the Caribbean, “yet it has grave implications for this region, as is now evident in the very ‘un-Caribbean-like’ attitudes and behaviors that have crept into the region, and the attendant increases in violence and criminality with which we must now contend.”

“My very own country of St. Kitts and Nevis has not escaped the wrath of this great challenge, however I have not been daunted. Today I say to my colleagues, especially those we are welcoming at this 31st Regular meeting that you too must never become daunted,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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