It is my pleasure to welcome Ambassador John Williams
to the Caribbean Community Secretariat and to
receive him as the Plenipotentiary Representative of
Barbados to the Caribbean Community.
Ambassador Williams, a former Senator and
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office,
brings with him a wealth of experience in matters
pertaining to the Caribbean Community.
Ambassador, your country Barbados continues to
play a meaningful role in the Caribbean Community.
Your Prime Minister is the lead Head of Government
responsible for the CARICOM Single Market and
Economy, a heavy task given the fact that the CSME
represents the flagship of regional integration.
The CARICOM Single Market, as we all know, was
formally launched on 30 January 2006. The
stewardship of Barbados of this herculean task is
recognized by the Community, not least in recent
comments by the former Prime Minister of Jamaica,
the Most Honourable PJ Patterson, in acclaiming the
Prime Minister of Barbados as the most suitable
person to lead the Region into its next economic
development phase – The CARICOM Single Economy.
Barbados has also played a major role in
promoting the small state agenda internationally,
starting with its hosting of the 1994 UN Global
Conference on Small Island Developing States, of
which the Barbados Programme of Action still
represents a blue print for international action on
Prime Minister Arthur was also the lead Regional
Head of Government on issues related to small states
in 2000, as the Commonwealth sought to ensure that
the agenda on small states was not lost from or
overlooked on the international agenda.
In this he was successful, as today, the small
states agenda is an area of focus in many fora, not
least of which is the World Bank Forum on Small
States held annually at the time of the World Bank
Prime Minister Arthur was also a lead speaker for
the Region at the UN Financing for Development
Conference held in Mexico in 2002.
In congratulating your country and the role it
continues to play, the Secretariat must place on
record the tireless efforts of the Foreign Minister
of Barbados in chairing CARICOM’s Ministerial
Committee on External Negotiations. Minister Miller
is also pursuing relentlessly the Region’s efforts
to make the Caribbean Community more widely
understood in our closest neighbour to the north,
the United States of America.
In the Region’s preparations for Cricket World
Cup 2007, the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados Hon.
Mia Mottley, continues to play a role in the
Region’s campaign to ensure a high level of security
for Cricket World Cup 2007 to be held in the Region
in April next year in her capacity as Chair of the
Ad Hoc Committee of Ministers of National Security
pertaining to CWC issues.
Ambassador, with that very short overview of the
leading role of your country in Community relations,
I need not say that much will be expected of you.
You are presenting credentials on the cusp of the
Eighteenth Meeting of the Community Council, the
second highest policy making body in the Community.
That meeting is expected to scrutinize the
proposed agenda for the Twenty-seventh Meeting of
the Conference, to ensure that it is an agenda
worthy of the attention of our Heads of Government.
It will also make sure that the preparations being
made, not only by the Secretariat, but also by the
Member States of the Region, are of a sufficient
standard to meet the high expectations of the
Conference and result in decisions that will benefit
the people of the Community whom we serve.
I therefore look forward to your participation in
that meeting, and the advice that you will offer.
The wisdom that your experience will bring will no
doubt augur well for the future of Community
May I therefore propose a toast to the Government
and People of Barbados and the continued and
dedicated support of the Caribbean Community
Secretariat in service to the people of the