Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley greets President of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel, prior to the start of the opening ceremony of the Eighth CARICOM-Cuba Summit at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, today. (Photo credit: C. Pitt/BGIS)
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is championing the need for regional goverments to recommit to working together as one Caribbean and countries of the Global South to tackle the challenges that continue to bedevil them.
She made the call earlier today during an address at the opening ceremony of the Eighth CARICOM-Cuba Summit and official State Visit of the President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Ms. Mottley told regional leaders that they should reflect on the groundwork laid by the four Caribbean giants almost 50 years ago who defied what “the world expected of them and determined that it was part of their commitment to the people of the Caribbean that we should not be separated by any artificial barriers between Caribbean people”.
She added: “I trust and pray that during today’s encounter in Bridgetown that we will be motivated to deepen our collaboration and our cooperation further and to ensure that we remove any divisions from language to a political framing that does not necessarily reflect our commitment to the United Nations Charter which respects the independence and sovereignty of individual nation states.
“I ask us to resist those matters and to come together not simply as the Heads of Government…but to come together in defence of Caribbean people who, more than ever, need that cooperation, resilience and solidarity if we are to allow them to navigate their way through these choppy seas.”
Ms. Mottley contended that the world continued to face great challenges that if left unchecked, could threaten the smooth functioning of societies and countries.
“From the climate crisis, to the lack of reform of our financial institutions globally so that there can be a fair and just deal for access, especially for small countries who have hitherto been asked to pay a disproportionate price for capital, to the question of lack of access to supply chains that allow our societies and our economies to function efficiently.
“These are the things that will continue to bedevil us but when compounded by public health crises, such as the pandemic and indeed our own difficulties with chronic non-communicable diseases and further compounded by a ready access to automatic weapons that has led to an uptick in crime across this region, then we begin to understand that our societies are challenged like they have never been challenged before”
The Prime Minister reminded those present and viewing online that when confronted with challenges Caribbean people have “dug deep and we have worked together”.
She stressed: “The principles of justice and solidarity are not old school; there are relevant today, and they must navigate us to a higher level of commitment and action than we have had indeed in the last 50 years, if we are to overcome all of these challenges…”
Ms. Mottley proffered that challenges associated with food security, and access to water remain at the forefront of all of our concerns and added that such a situation prevented countries from meeting the basic needs of its people.
She also used the occasion to reiterate her stance against the ongoing Cuban blockade, deeming it as having no foundation in rational behavior or any reflection of the values of Caribbean people. The two-day summit ended today.
Author: Julie Carrington/BGIS