CARICOM not a fail­ure – Gold­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - – JIS

CHAIR­MAN OF the Caribbean Com­mu­nity (CARICOM) Re­view Com­mis­sion and for­mer prime min­is­ter Bruce Gold­ing says CARICOM is not a fail­ure, hav­ing achieved suc­cesses in sev­eral ar­eas.

“I think we have done very well in terms of func­tional co­op­er­a­tion. If ev­ery coun­try in CARICOM had to set up their own ex­am­i­na­tion sys­tem, in­stead of hav­ing the Caribbean Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil, it would be dif­fi­cult for many of the smaller is­lands, which have fewer re­sources than we do,” Gold­ing said.

He was speak­ing at a youth fo­rum hosted by the CARICOM Re­view Com­mis­sion at the Uni­ver­sity of the West In­dies Re­gional Head­quar­ters on Thurs­day.

The CARICOM Re­view Com­mis­sion is the brain­child of Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness. It has been tasked with ex­am­in­ing Ja­maica’s role in the re­gional bloc and how it has af­fected the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment.

Gold­ing also cited in­sti­tu­tions such as the Caribbean Agri­cul­tural Re­search and De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute and the Caribbean Disas­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency as suc­cess­ful ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion.

“We are all sub­ject to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, and the re­sponse to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, when they oc­cur, re­quires in­sti­tu­tional-build­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and it re­quires man­age­ment. If ev­ery coun­try had to set up [one] for it­self, then you see the dif­fi­cul­ties that many coun­tries would have,” Gold­ing ar­gued.

The for­mer prime min­is­ter also ar­gued that CARICOM was im­por­tant for for­eign pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion.

STRENGTH IN NUM­BERS

“There is strength in num­bers. We have, in fact, been able to ex­ert a sig­nif­i­cant amount of in­flu­ence on some of the ma­jor coun­cils of the world sim­ply be­cause when we go there, we have 14 votes,” the chair­man said.

“I know of some oc­ca­sions where there are some con­tentious is­sues in the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Amer­i­can States and the United Na­tions, where balance is so close that 14 votes can make a difference, and that’s when the big­gest of the big come knock­ing on our doors,” Gold­ing added.

For his part, Min­is­ter of State in the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and In­for­ma­tion Floyd Green en­cour­aged the youth to sub­mit sug­ges­tions to the CARICOM Re­view Com­mis­sion.

On the is­sue of in­te­gra­tion, Green said this is be­ing un­der­mined “by the fact that it is so ex­pen­sive for us to travel among our CARICOM states”.

He also men­tioned that the Uni­ver­sity of the West In­dies is be­com­ing less in­te­grated based on the make-up of the pop­u­la­tion on the cam­puses.

At the fo­rum, the youth shared on is­sues such as re­gional in­te­gra­tion and im­mi­gra­tion.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Par­tic­i­pants in the youth fo­rum hosted by the CARICOM Re­view Com­mis­sion: Franz Ge­orge (sec­ond left) in con­ver­sa­tion with chair­man of the com­mis­sion and for­mer prime min­is­ter, Bruce Gold­ing (right), at a fo­rum held at the Uni­ver­sity of the West In­dies Re­gional Head­quar­ters on Thurs­day. Other par­tic­i­pants lis­ten­ing in are (from left) are Shan­tae Shand and Kid­dist McCoy.

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