Caribbean: Putting People Before Economics

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,(IPS) – Years after issuing its 1989 Declaration of Grand Anse that serves as the blueprint for a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), regional leaders have come to the realisation that it will take more than economics to drive and deepen the integration process.

“If this regional integration movement is to survive and thrive, it must address practically the day-to-day concerns of the people of the region and it must benefit all the member-countries in a way which is not unduly beneficial to some and not to others,” warned St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

Caribbean technocrats, including Edwin Carrington, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) secretary general, have acknowledged that the successful operation of the CSME hinges on improving the quality of life of Caribbean people as well as on the efficiency of the new institutions necessary to ensure a fair and equitable market and distribution of the benefits.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the Jul. 1-4 summit, regional leaders requested a study of the movement of skilled persons in order to guide the future operations of the initiative. (Read more)

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