The Flag Of The CARICOM Organization
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 16, 2008 (SKNIS)
Fourteen CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs) returned to their respective territories on Tuesday, armed with the skills and information to better promote the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) to their peers and to encourage active participation.
On Monday, the youth advocates representing 13 countries, convened at the Jolly Beach Resort in Antigua to explore how persons can make a living and move capital within the CSME. They also reviewed the art of public speaking and gained insight into the critical role the media plays in helping to keep the populace informed. Most Ambassadors considered the creation of youth friendly messages and the drafting of a regional youth advocacy network as the highlight of the one-day session.
Dean of the CYA corps Donna Greene stated that the meeting was “extremely useful” as it addressed the current state of the CSME and the way forward. She called for more intra-regional trade among member states noting that this will improve self sufficiency and limit the impact of external factors, such as rising food prices on Caribbean economies.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Finance and Economy Dr. the Honourable Errol Cort agreed with Dean Greene and explained that young people have a critical role to play in ensuring the success of the CSME. Dr. Cort stated that while the implementation of the policy has been lengthy, a deliberate pace is necessary to ensure all groups and classes can take advantage of the opportunities created.
When fully implemented, the CSME will create one large market among participating member states with full use of labour; and factors of production that will lead to greater variety and quantity of products and services to trade with other countries. It is expected that these objectives will in turn provide improved standards of living and work and sustained economic development.
Programme Manager of the CSME Unit Ivor Carryl revealed that to date most restrictions to market entry and participation have been removed and some laws have been harmonised. Additionally, institutions have been created to help CARICOM Heads of Government and relevant ministerial councils manage the CSME process.
He expressed pleasure with the high level of participation from the Ambassadors, and the two resource partners from Suriname and Jamaica that attended the workshop. Yldiz Beighle, co-chair of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development and Commissioner Kyle deFreitas were also present at the meeting.
Dean Donna Greene stressed that the CYA programme is devising a campaign to begin sensitizing young people about the CSME. One such initiative is being planned for CARIFETSA to be held at the end to August 2008 in Guyana.