It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to the Heads of Government gathered in
For 30 years, CARICOM has sought to provide dynamic leadership and service in pursuit of regional peace and development. It has strengthened links among Governments, civil society organizations and other actors working to improve the region’s standards of living. It has embarked on an ambitious programme of regional integration through the establishment of a Single Market and Economy, as well as of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
This long tradition of cooperation and partnership should serve you well as you face the challenges ahead and work together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Many
As CARICOM members are Small Island Developing States and face specific constraints in their development efforts, the full implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action of 1994 is important. The Barbados+10 review, scheduled to be undertaken in Mauritius in August next year, will provide an opportunity to take stock of achievements made and challenges still to be met.
A particular concern is the slow progress of international trade negotiations in areas of special interest to developing countries, such as eliminating the unfair competition faced by farmers and producers in poor countries, opening developed-country markets to developing-country goods, and giving poor people better access to affordable life-saving medicines. Ten weeks before the WTO ministerial meeting in
Another challenge that demands urgent attention is HIV/AIDS. In the past decade, the CARICOM region has experienced a dramatic increase in adult prevalence rates. My recently named Special Representative for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean will do his utmost to garner greater global support for the efforts of
In these and other efforts — from protecting the environment to fighting organized crime and seizing the opportunities of information technologies — the United Nations and CARICOM will continue to work as close partners. The UN system has a strong presence in the region, helping people in their daily lives, assisting Governments in improving administration and governance, and working closely with the CARICOM Secretariat itself. Issues of concern to the region should also gain a higher profile in the international arena with the election of
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