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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)  Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Education, the Hon Betrand Joseph has joined the band of Caribbean Community Ministers who are calling for greater collaboration and pooling of resources within the Community.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Finals of the Caribbean Community Regional Quiz Competition 2008 held in Berry Bay, Antigua and Barbuda, on Tuesday, 1st July, the Education Minister reiterated that in this fierce global market, individual Member States could not survive on their own and must therefore “come together and pool resources – human, material and natural – to build a Community for all – a Community which was established by our Founding Fathers thirty-five years ago.” He remarked that the young people represented the critical link between the past and the future and in them the dream of a pan-Caribbean civilisation would be realised.

“What we seek to accentuate here is not so much the supremacy of either team but the capacity to build that pan-Caribbean civilisation which is necessary to compete in the era of globalisation,” the Minister asserted.

Dr Edward Greene, CARICOM Secretariat’s Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development who represented the CARICOM Secretary-General at the opening ceremony, noted that the competition had clearly indicated that the Caribbean Community had valuable assets and it was the challenge of the Community to help to shape and develop those assets, and to ensure that youth potential is fully realised.

He stated that the Quiz, in addition to the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme which he said was making significant strides in its promotion of the CSME and other Community issues, and the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development which is conducting an analysis of the situation of youth within the Community, formed part of the programme designed to realise the Community’s vision for youth development.

In congratulating the two finalists, he expressed the hope that “this event would stimulate the youth to advocate on behalf of the Community, tap into the benefits of CARICOM Single Market and Economy and to engage themselves in the future of the Community that must continue from strength to strength if we are to compete in the global world.”

In her welcome, Chief Education Officer, Ms Jacinth Pringle said although the competition was designed for students, it was a learning opportunity for the audience who should also take stock of what they knew and did not know but ought to. In giving the overview of the competition, Dr. Morella Joseph, CARICOM Secretariat’s Programme Manager, Human Resource Development, outlined the aims and objectives as well as the structure and process of the Competition, noting her satisfaction with its conduct and level of participation.

She referred to the quizmasters’ workshop held in St Kitts and Nevis which she stated was a remarkable success, and stated that those quiz masters had returned home to mobilise their countries and schools thus ensuring maximum participation in the competition.

Dr. Joseph further commended the two teams reaching the finals – St Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia – and expressed the hope that the competition would inspire all participants to want to learn more about the Community.

The CARICOM Regional Quiz Competition 2008 was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for students of middle grades in secondary schools and was aimed at further increasing their knowledge about the Caribbean Community and the Integration movement.

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