Press release 334/2012
(18 December 2012)

New home for CARICOM offices in Barbados

 

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) New facilities for two sections of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, as well as a Regional institution, all based in Bridgetown, Barbados, were officially opened on Monday by the Hon. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados.

The two sections of the Secretariat – the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Unit and the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) – and the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) previously were housed in different locations. They now have a permanent home in Mall Internationale, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

Speaking at the opening of the new offices, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Stuart, the Government and people of Barbados.

“The two CARICOM Secretariat sections and the CDF have had separate homes. However, over the years, the Government of Barbados has steadfastly worked to ensure that they have been equipped with the resources necessary to undertake their tasks while at the same time bringing to bear considerable energy in helping to acquire common and more permanent premises. The provision of these modern facilities is testament to the fruits of that labour,” the Secretary-General said.

He added that the development reflected not only Barbados’ lead responsibility for the realisation of the Single Market and Economy, but its firm commitment to Regional integration and development.

The Secretary-General referred to staff members’ adaptation to the new environment as well as to the adaptation by the Secretariat and the Community to current challenges. He said that the opening of the new offices should signal that the Secretariat and the Community had begun to transform and that there was recognition of the sense of urgency which needed to be infused into the integration process and the Region’s development.

“In these times, transformation and reform are inevitable, and necessary. Indeed, the people of the Region have demanded that the Secretariat and the Community transform the efficiency and effectiveness of our service delivery.

“We have been compelled to confront the expectations of the people of the Region to make a real and meaningful impact on their lives. Whether it is through the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the negotiation of trade agreements, or the provision of development support for the Less Developed Countries (LDC) of the Community, the main focus and beneficiaries of our efforts must be the people of our Community,” he pointed out.

He added that the consolidation of the offices in the shared facilities was indicative of a wider initiative “upon which we have embarked towards the improvement of the administration and governance of the Secretariat and all Community institutions.

“The newly arranged proximity of these sections of the Secretariat and the CDF, physical and otherwise, is intended to improve the linkages and coordination between them and to advance efficiencies in the discharge of their critically related tasks and responsibilities within the Community,” he said.

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