Monday 30 November, 2020

COVID-19: Special CARICOM Heads of Government meeting scheduled

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

A special Heads of Government meeting of CARICOM leaders will take place Wednesday, April 15 to “share experiences” on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and explore a regional “virtual reality” approach.

Making this declaration was Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who is also the current CARICOM Chair.

“I have written to my colleague Heads and asked that we meet on Wednesday, April 15, so that we can share ideas, share experiences first and foremost, but also look and see whether this is not the moment where CARICOM’s true promise is upon us; that the notion of a single domestic space; that the notion of a single market and what therefore are those things that we need to do in order truly to allow our sovereign boundaries to have a virtual reality that is a CARICOM entity, a Caribbean community while the legal sovereign boundaries remain what we know,” stated the CARICOM Chairman.

To explain what she meant by a “virtual reality,” Mottley noted that it “probably will have to have a common public health protocol, and common border policy.” Additionally, “what it does is that it expands the market of persons who then can help sustain each other far wider than it was at the beginning of this address, just as other Heads have had to do,” she added, referencing the virtual reach of her own national address as an example.

Mottley encouraged Barbadians to view the response to COVID-19 as a marathon, rather than a sprint and understanding that their country and its regional neighbours were in the fight “for the long haul” against this pandemic.

“This is a resource that is also critical for us now. At the regional level, as I said, if we can get that working so that we literally are our brothers' keeper and our sisters' keeper then I believe that it will make us stronger as we go forward,” said CARICOM Chair Mottley.

“The truth is, I believe that regional blocks are going to become more important because human beings are going to be frightened for full globalization onslaught in the early years of the recovery from this pandemic. But, they are going to have to rely outside of their boundaries on their neighbours and there is no better time than now to start this process,” she stated about the potential virtual CARICOM reality entity.

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