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12714439_10205648484159403_1741705349_nThe official opening ceremony of the 27th Intercessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government CARICOM was held last night in Placencia where Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque gave the opening address where he made an urgent call for action to keep the Community’s well-earned reputation safe and secure.


Ambassador LaRocque


“It is imperative that the urgency for action be translated into the efforts at acquiring the resources necessary to adapt to its effects in our Region and to ensure our survival.  In that regard, it is crucial that the international community honour the commitments to provide the requisite resources.


We must maintain the standard set for how we should act in concert to address other challenges.  That proven capacity for collective action which brings success has to be mustered as we engage frontally, the challenge posed to our security.

All of our Member States are affected in varying degrees as the scourge of crime threatens our societies, our economies and our citizens’ security.


It is imperative that we take action as a Region to stymie the efforts of those who seek to destroy our well-earned reputation as safe and secure societies. As we move to enshrine Security as the fourth pillar of integration in our Treaty, it is important that we demonstrate our resolve by formalising the regional legal framework and supporting institutional infrastructure that would help us fight the menace of crime and threats to our security. “


Regarding the threat from Zika, Ambassador LaRocque said the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has been at the forefront working with Member States and other institutions in dealing with this challenge and that the problem is one that CARICOM member states should battle as one.


Ambassador LaRocque


“This state of affairs demands that we act collectively to address this issue with the relevant regulatory authorities and the international community.


At this time, we are also grappling with the Zika Virus in some of our countries and the potentially devastating effects on the people of our Community.  Our specialised CARICOM Institution, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), has been at the forefront working with Member States and other institutions in dealing with this challenge as it did with Chikungunya.


The Agency has been discharging its responsibility purposefully and professionally, providing laboratory testing services and sharing its expertise at both the national and regional level.”

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