CARICOM Chair: ‘We Are Family’

(L-R) Saint Lucian Prime Minister, Allan Michael Chastanet; Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis; Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell; and Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley. (Mohamed A. Hassim photo)

Mottley Urges Leaders to Rely on the Bonds of Family to Deal with the Many Challenges Faced by the Region

By Mohamed A. Hassim
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, has called on her regional counterparts to approach the many challenges they face in the region, as a family, as she reminded them that “there is always strength in unity.”
Mottley, in her address at the recently held 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads in Barbados, noted, “We ought to be able to find the resolve to understand that we meet here today, not because we share a common ideology, but because we are family. We are kith and kin.”
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley greets Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at the recent Inter-Sessional meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads in Barbados. (Mohamed A. Hassim photo)
She added, “Whether it’s at the level of countries or at the level of homes or communities, being kith and kin must stand for something.”
The Prime Minister noted, “We will not always have sunny days but it is when the days are cloudy that we determine how best to move forward with the character that defines us as being resilient and as being able to reach the mountain top inspite of the valleys we have to traverse on our way to the mountain top.”
She made these comments against the backdrop of issues such as chronic non communicable diseases (NCDs) including the current threat of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the existential crisis of climate, violence, which she noted had “genuinely become a public health disorder”, and the challenges to the Community’s fiscal sovereignty, among others faced by the Caribbean Community. Solutions to these, she urged, must be sought through the bond of family.
The CARICOM Chair thanked regional institutions such as CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and its sub-agency Joint Regional Communication Centre (JRCC) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for working along with other agencies to keep the emergency out of the Region.
The Prime Minister, who also dealt with issues such as regional air transport and the financing for the Caribbean Development Fund, among others, exhorted her fellow colleagues to “perfect a finer vision for ourselves (the Caribbean) and act to create that vision.”