Despite challenges, CARICOM continues to deliver – Foreign Minister Todd

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CARICOM Day Message by Hugh Hilton Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation 

Guyana is a proud and committed member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). As a founding member of CARICOM and the seat of its Headquarters, Guyana recognises the strategic importance of CARICOM to the achievement of our nation’s foreign policy goals, as it is for other Member States of the Community.

CARICOM has among its objectives the achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of states and entities of any description with enhanced coordination of Member States foreign policies and economic policies. The Community, with one voice, has been impactful in international fora.

CARICOM’s voice has been especially clear on the most existential threats to the future of our people, such as climate change and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Community’s mantra, “1.5 to stay alive”, much resisted during the Paris climate negotiations in 2015, is now the point of reference for global climate action. The strong advocacy of CARICOM leaders for equitable access to vaccines in the current Covid crisis has no doubt contributed to a more responsive posture by our development partners.

Despite a myriad of challenges, the Community continues to work assiduously to deliver on its promise and potential for the people of the region. The past year has severely tested the resolve of the Caribbean people, but we know that the Caribbean destiny can only be forged in unity, with clear heart, purpose, strong action and advocacy.

Guyana remains committed to the integration process and looks forward to contributing to building a stronger, more resilient future for the people of our Region. It will take time; it will take effort and it will take support.

Throughout its existence; friendship, cooperation, solidarity, and support have been the CARICOM hallmark. Those elements are especially manifest and meaningful in times of challenge and stress for our brothers and sisters across the Community. This is certainly the case now as Hurricane Elsa clears a path through the Caribbean. Guyana stands firmly with our CARICOM partners who have been affected and will respond to any call for assistance.

That is the essence of Community. We must work together to make CARICOM a success. It belongs to us. We make it stronger or weaker.

On this CARICOM Day, let us take the opportunity to celebrate the gains we have made and plan our course forward with confidence. Happy CARICOM Day!

July 5, 2021

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