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June 15, 2015

Antigua & Barbuda to host CARICOM forum focused on “CARICOM Overcoming Challenges: Pathway to Development” on June 23rd, 2015

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June 15th, 2015

The approval by Heads of the CARICOM’s Strategic Plan in July 2014 has set the region on a path to reposition the Community, through a development agenda going forward that encompasses a review of the regions development needs; a resilience model for socio-economic progress; strategies to renew the commitment to and strengthen actions for enhancing regional unity; and reform of the Community’s governance mechanisms.

At the same time as a framework for action, the Strategic Plan allows for selection of, and agreement on, narrow range of actions to be pursued each year, in pursuit of the Region’s development goals. The Plan also outlines the implementation imperatives, strategic and change management modalities with the necessary monitoring, measurement and evaluation frameworks.

It represents the latest thrust by CARICOM to advance the integration process, particularly through facilitating the implementation of decisions taken. Therefore, consultations with stakeholders at the national level will help to streamline proposals to the Organs and Bodies of the Community; provide new ideas and offer different perspectives and thinking which collectively can add value to the process of addressing the many challenges.

Commenting on the elements and design of the Strategic Plan, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to CARICOM, Dr. Clarence Henry indicated that, “the development and implementation of the Plan are aimed at addressing several issues that have plagued real progress with the implementation of the integration project, as well as the responsiveness of the Community to the realities affecting Member States. We must always be minded that the strength of the Community comes from the collective”.

Therefore, in order to find ways to operationalize the CARICOM Strategic Plan, a Forum entitled “CARICOM Overcoming Challenges: Pathway to Development” will be held on Tuesday June 23rd, 2015 at the SJPC House of Restoration on Lauchland Benjamin Drive from 8.30am to 5pm.

Regional and local presenters will share their insights on five thematic areas: (i) CARICOM’s Strategic Development Plan and Measures to Achieve Economic Sustainability, (ii) The Role of the Private Sector in Addressing Caribbean Economic Challenges: Policy Prescription, (iii) The Caribbean Today and Beyond, (iv) Good Governance and Electoral Reform, and (v) The Role of the Caribbean Court of Justice within the Context of the Revised CARICOM Treaty.

The featured speakers among others will include the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Gaston Browne; and representatives from the Caribbean Community, EU Delegation to the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Ambassador Henry explained that the objectives of the Forum are to sensitize the public about the CARICOM Strategic Plan and the Reform Process of the integration architecture including its governance arrangements. He went on to explain that the involvement of stakeholders in the CARICOM process is a key aspect of implementing the Strategic Plan to ensure that the development of regional policies is in-keeping with the needs of all stakeholders in the Community.

The general public including members of parliament, trade unions, political parties, students, teachers, professionals, the business community, members of civil society and the media are invited to attend and participate in this important Forum which will discuss the future of the Community and Antigua and Barbuda’s place in its reform and development agenda.

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