Saturday 18 January, 2020

CARICOM needs to fight powers as one, says Ambassador

Foreign Ministers gathered at the 20th Coucil of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR)

Foreign Ministers gathered at the 20th Coucil of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR)

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has criticised the stance taken by international countries against the region and has called for a united effort in fighting back.

He was at the time delivering the opening remarks at the Twentieth Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center last Thursday.

Ambassador LaRocque said the actions being taken by some international countries against Caribbean countries were negatively affecting the economies of the region.

“As a Community we are engaging with the relevant authorities in foreign capitals, in respect of the withdrawal of correspondent banking services. As a Community we continue to confront aggressively those nations who persist in labelling us as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The unilateral blacklisting of our Member States by countries who we think of as our traditional friends, is unwarranted, unhelpful and indeed harmful to our economies.”

He said the only way to mitigate such was for CARICOM member states to act ‘in concert’ which will be a topic of focus over the two days of the COFCOR meetings.

“This feature of our integration movement can be enhanced by strengthening our intra-Community Relations. It is a theme that will be explored during our meeting over the next two days, as we seek ways to encourage more frequent communication and exchange of ideas among our Member States, outside of formally structured engagements.”

The Ambassador also said with the global environment in a state of flux now was the time for the Caribbean community to adapt to the change and build on its resilience as they move toward a stronger community.

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