Press release 02/2004
(9 January 2004)
STATEMENT BY CARICOM SECRETARY-GENERAL MR EDWIN CARRINGTON ON THE DEATH OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA, THE HONOURABLE PIERRE CHARLES
The Caribbean Community is shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Hon. Pierre Charles and who also served as Lead Head of Government with responsibility for
Labour, including the movement of skills within the Community.
As Secretary-General it is for me a severe personal blow, having worked closely with this young leader throughout his term of office, particularly during his tenure as Chairman of the Community in the first half of 2003. I mourn his passing with the people of Dominica who have now lost two leaders within a little more than three years.
Prime Minister Charles had an abiding interest in and commitment to the regional integration movement and this was exemplified in his maiden address to the Conference of Heads of Government at its Twelfth
Inter-Sessional Meeting in Barbados when he declared:
“I look forward, with anticipation, to the
day when insularity will disappear from
among our people and we will accept our
historic commonality and the fundamental
cultural experiences that make CARICOM a
whole nation. The spirit of integration,
which has taken root in our respective
countries, must be nurtured and strengthened
by contact between ordinary people on the
streets of our countries.”
Prime Minister Charles approached his work in the Community with the conviction that the viability and prosperity of the Community was the only way forward for the Region as small states. This conviction was strengthened by the manner in which his Colleagues, the Community and its institutions responded to Dominica’s need for assistance in the face of its ongoing economic difficulties brought on in large measure by the deterioration of the banana industry. Prime Minister Charles repeatedly expressed his appreciation for that support. His quiet but firm style will be surely missed in the councils of the Community.
On behalf of the Community, the Secretariat and on my own behalf, I extend heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Dominica and to the family of Mr Charles on his untimely death. May his soul rest in peace.