The Treaty of Chaguaramas, signed on this day forty-nine (49) years ago, established the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Common Market.
Each year, Guyana observes, as a national holiday, the signing of the Treaty. We do this as a testament to our commitment to regional integration.
As our Community embarks on its 50th year, the coming 12 months are an opportune occasion for reflection on and a recommitment to the ideals of integration and towards advancing the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Regional integration is an ongoing enterprise. Over the past 49 years, the Community has remained intact, its membership has increased, and it has expanded relations with countries, regions and groupings. Our Community has survived the tempests of change and the turbulence of global challenges.
Guyana, as a founding member, remains steadfast in its commitment to the regional project. We recognise the prospects for betterment, prosperity and development that the Community, through the CSME, offers.
Our Region’s hopes and aspirations lie in securing the future for the Caribbean. As we collectively focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation, building resilience, enhancing and ensuring food and nutrition security, citizen security and energy security, improving access to financing and building social infrastructure, let us be mindful that in so doing, we are creating a more resilient and sustainable Caribbean.
In this regard, Guyana is vigorously exercising its role as CARICOM lead on agriculture and food security. In May, we successfully hosted the inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Expo. As we approach the half-way mark since the approval of the 25 by 2025 initiative to reduce the Region’s food import bill, we are generating impetus towards better enabling our Region to better feed itself.
CARICOM Heads of Government are meeting today to review the overall progress and to drive the implementation of the CCSME. The Region’s leadership is engaged in charting the way forward.
Each one of us embodies CARICOM. May we continue to go forward with unity of vision and purpose to deliver on our shared aspirations of a healthy, prosperous and resilient future!
Happy Caricom Day to all!