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Upcoming CARICOM Meeting to Focus on Revival of the Regional Economy

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Friday, July 19, 2002 - Preparations are well under way for the Special Caricom Summit due to take place here this August. That’s the word from Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to Caricom. Ambassador Anthony Severin.

The Special Summit, Ambassador Severin explains is as a result of statements delivered by Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony during the opening of the 23rd Heads of Government Conference held last month. “At that meeting he identified as perhaps one of the more critical concerns that the region would face would be the state of the regional economy. He pointed to the difficulties which individuals are experiencing particularly the OECS territories. He indicated that the last financial year was perhaps the worse that these economies had faced in a long time,’ said Severin.

Dr. Anthony also drew a link between the state of the OECS economies and the prospects for the wider regional economy. According to Ambassador Severin “He was saying in essence that if the OECS economies were in a bad way then inevitable the economies of the Caribbean terroriteis would also suffer. And so as a result of all of these he was making a call for a refocusing of the agenda to deal specifically with ways in which we could seek to revitalise the regional economy.”

On August 17, 2002 a meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub Committee on the proposed Caricom Single Market and Economy, which will adjudicate on matters relating to this important regional subject, will also form part of the special meeting’s agenda.

Among the related issues also likely to be addressed in Saint Lucia is the $100 million funding proposal for the CCJ, to be sourced by the Caribbean Development Bank and the need for two other countries to ratify the agreement to bring it into force.

Ambassador Severin’s role is two fold. On one hand it is to promote the interest of Saint Lucia with the individual member states of Caricom and at another level he has specific responsibilities within the administration for coordinating the work and the efforts aimed at regional integration. “There is a work programme which the community has set for itself involving work in promoting the Single Market and Economy as well as other areas of activity. So my responsibility within the administration would be to coordinate Saint Lucia’s efforts in this regard. I would be coordinating with the various ministries that have responsibilities for various activities in this endeavour,” said Severin.


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