‘I AM CARICOM’ Campaign In St. Kitts And Nevis Culminates With Flag Raising Ceremony
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 30, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris participated in this morning’s (Friday, July 30) flag raising ceremony at the National Heroes Park, which signaled the culmination of the month long observation of the “I am CARICOM” campaign that celebrated the achievements of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) throughout its 48-year existence.
Flags were raised simultaneously in the different CARICOM Member States.
Delivering brief remarks to mark the occasion, Prime Minister Harris described the “I am CARICOM” movement as a historic campaign that sought to increase visibility and understanding of what CARICOM means to the citizens of the Community.
The prime minister said, “While this concept is a novel one, it is of much significance, and it holds tremendous promise. We ought to take ownership of what is ours and be proud of it. We are CARICOM – represented through the University of the West Indies (UWI) – an institution that belongs to us and has educated thousands of us for a future in our region and indeed the wider world. We are CARICOM through the co-ordination of foreign policy which ensures that our support is sought from all quarters in the international arena because we are viewed as a bloc, and this translates into meaningful programmes and projects for the Community.”
The St. Kitts and Nevis prime minister stated that the strength of the CARICOM body was even demonstrated in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
He added, “This community has witnessed the benefits of us working together in a systematic way in the fight to restore and maintain a healthy nation, and even in a general way we have realized how cooperation on health issues can translate into the lowering of the cost of pharmaceuticals through bulk purchasing.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Harris used the occasion to impress upon Kittitians and Nevisians everywhere the need to be more aware of CARCOM and more specifically, of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the many benefits it offers.
“We ought to be reminded that the CSME is the flagship of the integration movement which has morphed into something that is the envy of many nations, since the vision was launched in 1989. The CSME must be viewed as something that belongs to us as a people and for which we must take ownership. To put it simply – It is about people; it is about services; it is about free movement. We need to understand it and be appreciative of all the benefits that come with it. When we look at other regional bonds being formed around the world, then we can begin to understand the power that comes from speaking with one voice.
The CARICOM body observed the anniversary of its founding on July 4, 2021, 48 years after the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas in 1973.
The regional integration organization consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.