STATEMENT BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, HIS EXCELLENCY EDWIN CARRINGTON, TO THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE SEVENTEENTH INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, 9 FEBRUARY 2006, PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings by admin | 09 February 2006 | Release Ref #: 32/2006 | 1668
Honourable Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community Other Distinguished Heads of State and Government of Member States of the Caribbean Community Honourable Ministers of Government Distinguished Delegates Distinguished Guests Representatives of the Media Ladies an Gentlemen
It’s a pleasure as Secretary-General, to call to order and to welcome you with these very very brief remarks, to this Seventeenth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community.
Mr. Prime Minister we are truly grateful to you, your Government and people for the arrangements which have been put in place for this meeting.
We also wish to congratulate you on the assumption of the Chairmanship of the Conference. Given your long and varied experience and well known statesmanship and the commitment of Trinidad and Tobago to the integration process, we are assured of able leadership and successful results as you discharge your responsibility as Chairman over the next six months.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Heads of Government, given the guidelines that you have agreed on for inter-sessional meetings, there is an absence of the pomp and ceremony of the regular meetings. To work without delay seems to be your motto.
This is in accord with the reality that the last time we met here in Port of Spain was at the Tenth Special Meeting of the Conference, then your focus was the implementation of the Single Market and Economy. Today you meet here again one year later having just eleven days ago launched the Single Market with an expectation of completing that process by 30th June. Hard work, yes we will all agree, but that does not leave us bereft of sentiment. In that context the fact that this is scheduled to be the last regional meeting for the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, leaves one with an emotion that not even hard work can suppress. The Conference will be losing the contribution of its longest serving Head of Government, and a veritable Caribbean Titan, but more of that anon.
In looking to the future it is our hope not only for a successful World Cup 2007 in every sense, but also for some good news from Haiti – at last.
I close with an expression of thanks to the outgoing Chairman, Dr. the Hon. Kenny Anthony for his able leadership and wise advice for the last six months and with a firm wish for a successful tournament by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Team – the Soca Warriors in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
I thank you and now invite the Hon. Patrick Manning, Chairman of the Conference to address the Conference.