I extend sincere congratulations to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on its 50th anniversary. This momentous milestone marks half a century of regional integration, solidarity, and cooperation among Caribbean nations.
The signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973 signalled the intentions of Caribbean countries to advance regional integration and development. Today, CARICOM is a vibrant and dynamic regional organization with 15 Member States and five Associate Members.
As we reflect on the journey of this regional body over the past five decades, it is essential to recognize the significant progress that has been made in various areas such as trade and security, as well as economic, human, and sustainable development.
Throughout its history, CARICOM has brought together nations with a shared vision of regional prosperity and development and sought to address common challenges through dialogue, collaboration and joint action.
Under the framework of CARICOM, we have witnessed advancements in economic integration through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), which has enhanced the movement of goods, services, and skills within the Caribbean region. In addition, CARICOM has made significant strides in its efforts to strengthen disaster resilience in Caribbean nations and address climate change.
I commend the governments and citizens of CARICOM Member States for their dedication and resolution to uphold the ideals and principles upon which this regional organization was founded.
It is imperative, as we celebrate this milestone, that we reaffirm our commitment to those principles: social and economic justice, good governance, integrity, and equity. I call upon all CARICOM Member States to redouble efforts to strengthen regional integration and foster greater unity among our Caribbean nations.
On behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the United National Congress, I extend warm congratulations to CARICOM on reaching this significant milestone.
We in the UNC remain committed to strengthening CARICOM and working with our regional partners to build a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Caribbean.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
4th July, 2023