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2005 The Year of the CSME

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005 – The 26th Conference of Heads of Government being held in Saint Lucia is expected to accelerate the pace of Caribbean integration. 2005 was designated the year of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy CSME and half way through the year regional leaders are magnifying what is at stake.

Prime Minister of Dominica Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit was optimistic about a big pay day for the regions’ people. “…from where I stand I visualize a bright picture of only peace, progress and prosperity redounding from a wider Caribbean state and to this end you have my resolute and unswerving commitment. Let us make 2005 a watershed in that relentless movement towards unity.” Hon Skerrit was speaking at the time to the region, at the official opening of the Conference of Heads of Government at the Sandals Grande St. Lucia Golf Resort and Spa on Sunday July 3rd.

One day before the opening of the conference, Heads of Government and Leaders of Parliamentary Opposition in a meeting agreed to a programme of public promotion of the CSME. In his address Honourable Skerrit said, “For me, the way forward will require the motivation and mobilization of the people … we must never underestimate the wisdom of the ordinary citizen. Neither should we underestimate the power of people when they are pulling together. It is only the people working together who can turn around an economy. If is only the people working together who can build nations.”

Mr. Skerrit was speaking against the background of the economic crisis in Dominica which saw the country going to the International Monetary Fund. Additionally Mr. Skerrit said the crisis which saw the Caribbean Community rallying around Dominica has convinced his country that of “… the benefits of unity and solidarity.”

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