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Newly appointed Grenadian Ambassador to CARICOM says Reform Process is to be applauded

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     The work that has been done with the CARICOM Reform Process is to be applauded. That was the sentiment expressed by newly appointed Plenipotentiary Representative of Grenada to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) His Excellency Patrick Antoine.
The Ambassador was speaking during a ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown Guyana where he handed over his credentials to Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
Dr Antoine said there were challenges that needed to be addressed in relation to the reform process but the work so far was to be commended. According to him more attention needed to be given to some issues and the contours of the assignment needed to be further defined.  “This assignment provides CARICOM with the opportunity to prove our worth and our mettle” he said.
Ambassador Antoine said there were a number of issues that needed to be examined during this important time of the regional integration process. He referred to the completion of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), including the contentious issue of free movement of labor, the movement of goods and developing a strategy and outlook for 2013 and beyond within the construct of CARICOM as a community for all. He said the community should find a way to bring the Diaspora and the private sector on board in developing this agenda.
“CARICOM is not a project. CARICOM has been part of our ingrained aspirations as a community” the Ambassador said.
In relation to ICT Ambassador Antoine said there was also much work to be done in this area. He however thanked the CARICOM Secretary General for an initiative taken by CARICOM in ensuring that an offer made by Vice President of the United States Joe Biden to provide financing for a single CARICOM ICT space was pursued. “I want to thank the Secretariat for continuing this work and for following up on an excellent opportunity.”
He said further that it was an excellent time to call for a meeting of the “mega players” in ICT in CARICOM Member States to harness the benefits and learning and vision of these players for the benefit of the Community.

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