Saint Lucia Minister sees Regional Integration as ‘Greatest Legacy’

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – Saint Lucia Minister of Social Transformation, Youth, and Sports, Honourable Leonard Montoute sees Regional Integration as “perhaps the greatest legacy that we bequeath to the next and subsequent generations.

In his address to the opening session of two-day consultations under the CARICOM Civil Society Project 2010, delivered by Ms. Maria Medard, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Transformation, Youth and Sport, the Minister said “we have much to answer in the event that we fail to bring this noble dream to reality. What we need is a new generation of leaders that would inspire new and innovative strategic directions for our people at country and regional and levels”. There is much to be done before this dream is realised.

The “CARICOM Civil Society Project 2010” is implemented by the CARICOM Secretariat, in cooperation with the Governments of CARICOM Member States, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre and with the support of the European Union. It aims to identify opportunities for dialogue between CARICOM Member States and Civil Society on key national and regional issues, and to assist Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in identifying and participating in opportunities in the development process.

Addressing Saint Lucia Civil Society Representatives, he noted that “It is imperative that every sector of the society, actively participate in this journey to eventual integration” and that “the ordinary citizens have for a long time embraced the notion of integration”.

The Minister said “the Grand Anse Declaration and Work Programme for the advancement of the integration movement remains a practical and desirable framework, worthy of being relentlessly pursued by all and sundry within the Region. He posited that “As small developing states, the arguments for integration are intrinsically self-evident and opined that the reinforcement of a programme of the Single Market and Economy is:”the precursor to, and platform upon which we eventually achieve the elusive goal of regional political unity.”

The “CARICOM Civil Society Project 2010” will hold consultations with civil society in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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