SEE BELOW THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY PRESIDENT IRFAAN ALI ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM):
I extend greetings to all the peoples of the Caribbean as Guyana celebrates CARICOM Day. This year our Community is observing its Golden Jubilee a milestone that attests to the relevance and sturdiness of our regional family, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Over the past five decades, integration movements have come and gone; others have stuttered and stagnated; new regional groupings have emerged. But our Community has not only remained together but it has been enlarged and its membership expanded. During this period also, CARICOM has remained steadfast and committed to the ideals of its founding Charter: to promote economic integration, coordinate foreign policy and promote functional cooperation (human and social development). The original treaty establishing our Community has since been revised. A new charter to guide the work of the Community has been adopted, and security has become a fourth pillar of regional integration.
The past 50 years have not been all smooth sailing. The Caribbean has been subject to many challenges including invasion, threats to our markets, the emergence of mega economic blocks, devastating natural disasters and geopolitical changes. As a constellation of small-island developing and low-lying coastal states, the Caribbean Community has been able to navigate these turbulent periods because we have stayed together as a united Caribbean family.
Guyana is proud to belong to this regional family. The country’s commitment has been unwavering and its support unquestionable. Guyana has been the host of the Community’s Secretariat and has been integrally involved in the work, policies, programmes and organs of the Community over the past 5o years. In recent times, we have been very forceful in propelling the region’s agenda in the areas of climate, food, and energy security.
We will continue to be a vibrant and engaged member in the future. This month Guyana will assume membership in the Bureau of the Conference and will undertake Chairmanship of the Community from January to July 2024. We aim to use these opportunities to provide strong leadership and to energize the Community’s work.
As the Caribbean Community celebrates its Golden Jubilee, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana heralds the contributions of the Caribbean Community towards regional integration and by extension to the Region’s economic, human and social development. We pay tribute to the founders of our Community and their successors who have kept the ship of regional integration steady and on course.
Guyana looks forward to working within the Community to help realize the vision of a united, resilient and prosperous Caribbean.
Happy CARICOM Day!