Local Regional Youth Ambassadors issue statement for CARICOM anniversary

Kevington A. Pemberton

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 5TH 2012 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ CARICOM Youth Ambassadors are of the view that stakeholders of the regional integration movement must work together if it is to become a force on the international stage.

“We must remember that as a region it has become increasingly important for us to work together not only to improve our collective bargaining power globally, however to create a unified front that will become a force to reckon with. CARICOM must not only be thought of as benefitting to any one party in particular, CARICOM belongs to all of us, CARICOM is me, CARICOM is you, CARICOM is here to stay,” said Kevington Pemberton and Patrice Harris in a joint statement to mark the 39th anniversary of the establishment of the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

In the statement, Pemberton and Harris noted that embedded in the tenets of the CARICOM movement is the simple philosophy of regional integration, unity and comradery.

“The idea of integration is not new to us, the philosophy dates as far back as 1958. The philosophy of regional integration was created with the establishment of the West Indies Federation. Though faced with many challenges and superseded by CARIFTA in 1968 the idea of integration was still pungent,” the statement said.

They noted that the Treaty of Chaguaramas which established the Caribbean Community including the Caribbean Common Market was signed by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on 4th July, 1973, in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. It came into effect on 1 August 1973. In addition to economic issues, the Community instrument addressed issues of foreign policy coordination and functional cooperation. St Kitts and Nevis became a member of CARICOM on the 26th July 1974.

“Undoubtedly CARICOM has faced challenges due to its unique nature of which include but are not limited to lack of resources, location and size. However, significantly, our shared historical background and culture provides for many opportunities. Though echoed by many critics, CARICOM is not dead. Rather, CARICOM has undergone significant challenges that require our continued support. Our advice to you on this 39th Anniversary of the establishment of the treaty of Chaguaramas is to lend support to the advocates for CARICOM recognising the principles that have been etched into the treaty,” said the statement.

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