CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors hold inaugural meeting

A CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors has been activated, with an inaugural meeting held at the CARICOM Secretariat headquarters in Guyana over the weekend.

The Committee, comprising Ambassadors accredited to CARICOM by its Member States, will play a major role in the ongoing process of reforming the integration architecture and its governance arrangements. The reform process is geared towards achieving greater efficiency and delivery of the services provided for the development of the Region and its people.

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, addressing the opening of Saturday's meeting said the Committee was an idea whose time has come:

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, addressing the opening of Saturday’s meeting said the Committee was an idea whose time has come:

Colleagues, fulfilling your mandate will advance the integration process, particularly through facilitating the implementation of decisions taken. Your consultations with stakeholders at the national level will help to streamline proposals to the Organs and Bodies of the Community. It will also help to identify the challenges in implementing decisions arising from those proposals.”

The Secretary-General saw two broad overarching roles for the Committee:
“On the one hand, as Ambassadors, you represent the interests of your countries, and the Terms of Reference of the Committee point to specific functions you will undertake.

But of equal importance, or probably of even greater importance, I also see this body as a cohesive whole, acting, as it were, as a think-thank as we shape the future course of Caribbean integration. I see this body operating almost like a board of directors, so to speak, of Caribbean integration providing strategic guidance.”

Saturday's inaugural meeting was chaired by Ambassador of The Bahamas to CARICOM H.E. Picewell Forbes who emphasized the Committee's unique and pivotal role.

Saturday’s inaugural meeting was chaired by Ambassador of The Bahamas to CARICOM H.E. Picewell Forbes who emphasized the Committee’s unique and pivotal role.

“…the formation of this Committee provides an opportunity for us to greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the CARICOM Secretariat and its related agencies. As Ambassadors we have a unique position in having direct contact with our Heads of Government and Cabinets, as well as with the technical advisors and stakeholders.

We must therefore maximize these unique positions in actioning our responsibilities to provide strategic advice and support to the Community Council of Ministers and support for the reform of the Community.

“The Committee can truly serve as a Rapid Response Mechanism to get early feedback from Member States on matters of import.”

CARICOM Heads of Government agreed to the establishment of the Committee, and approved its Terms of Reference, at their 26th inter-sessional meeting in the Bahamas, 26-27 February 2015. The Committee will, among its roles, operate as a preparatory body for the Community Council which is responsible for the development of strategic planning and co-ordination.

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