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– as 25th Community Council of Ministers Meeting commencesThe highly anticipated 25th meeting of the Caribbean Community Council of Ministers kicked off yesterday at the Caricom Secretariat with a moment of silence for the victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. That earthquake left in its wake thousands dead and numerous infrastructure ruined.Addressing the forum in the stead of absent Secretary General, Dr Edwin Carrington, Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, emphasised that the Council gathers in the shadow of the greatest natural disaster to befall a member state of the Caribbean Community.She,Cheap Jerseys Supply, however, noted that despite the devastating impact of the earthquake the resilient spirit of the people of Haiti has remained intact. And with the help of the Community and wider international partners, she revealed that the long and hard road to recovery and reconstruction has begun for the island nation.Ambassador Applewhaite also extended special gratitude to the government and people of Jamaica for their swift response on behalf of the Caribbean Community to the disaster.“They fully committed themselves to the responsibility as the sub-regional focal point for the area in the regional response arrangement established by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA),Cheap Jerseys USA,” she disclosed. Guyana, along with other member states that engaged relief efforts for the Haitian victims, was not left out.The Ambassador went on to highlight that there was a generous response in terms of human, financial and material resources.Yesterday’s meeting came on the heels of three significant meetings which have been held over the past two weeks, each of which has implications for the future direction of the Caribbean Community.In Paramaribo, Suriname on January 29 and January 30 last, the youths of the Community made abundantly clear their impatience at the pace of integration. In fact at that meeting they urged that steps be taken to accelerate the process.And then there was the 15th Special Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) that was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on February 5 and February 6, last.The report of that meeting,Cheap NFL Jerseys, according to Applewhaite contains far-reaching health initiatives to be considered by the Council.The 29th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) right here in Georgetown, ended on Tuesday with the appraisal of the state of implementation of the Caricom Single Market and  Economy (CSME) being among the major items considered. And many of the issues of the last meeting were expected to engage the attention of the Council yesterday.Ambassador Applewhaite related that youth, health and CSME along with the reconstruction and development of Haiti are slated to occupy centre stage in the theatre of the community at this time.“Indeed they are significantly interlinked, given for instance, that the Heads of Governments have determined that the community’s primary intervention in Haiti, in the medium term,Wholesale Jerseys, will be health while the youths are demanding that they be given tools to benefit from the CSME.”The Ambassador further emphasised that the remit of the Council under the provision of the revised treaty includes: development of communities,NBA Jerseys From China, strategic planning and coordination in the areas of economic integration, functional corporation and external relations. As efforts are made to move forward in the context of today’s reality and priorities, Applewhaite noted that it is required of the Council to exercise the responsibility of strategic planning and coordination in a manner that the resources available is optimised in fulfilling outlined objectives.And it was with mixed feelings that Dominican Dr John Colin McIntyre,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, took up his role as Chairman of the 25th Community Council even as he pondered on the grim reality of the Haitian people. He, in brief remarks, extended sympathy to the people and the government of Haiti and underscored the role of Community Council.And as always, he highlighted, that the task of the Council must be carried out in accordance with the policy and direction of the conference.In this context he noted that the Council is required to consider proposals of the various Councils, the Secretariat and other Regional institutions with the objective of approving or revising such proposals as deemed necessary.It is also tasked with allocating resources for the implementation of the approved plans and programmes of the Community.Yesterday’s session also saw a preliminary review of the 2010–2015 draft treasury plan of the Secretariat. According to Dr McIntyre the economies of “our countries have been buffeted by the global economic and financial crisis and our task at this time is not an easy one…We are also ever conscious of the importance of the need to continue integration arrangements and strengthen functional corporation.”It is from this perspective that Dr McIntyre said that he is confident that it would be possible to find the appropriate solutions to the challenges ahead.After a brief public opening ceremony the ministers and ambassadors representing the various Caricom countries, along with Caricom officials continued the meeting behind closed doors.Guyana was aptly represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett.
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