GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, on Monday thanked staff members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat for their work in promoting regional integration and rallied them to “keep the faith”.
“Sometimes it might look as if we are marking time, but we have been making some good progress in some areas and we have more to do and I want to thank you for soldiering on and working together and I hope in the New Year we can redouble our efforts,” he said.
Gonsalves, who holds the transport portfolio in the CARICOM quasi cabinet, assumes the chairmanship of the Community in January 2014. He was in Georgetown on a two-fold mission – to visit the CARICOM Secretariat and to hold bilateral meetings with president of Guyana, Donald Ramotar.
During his visit, Gonsalves also held discussions with CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque and members of the Secretariat’s executive management committee.
Briefly addressing staff members, the prime minister said that his visit to the Secretariat was in preparation for his assumption of the chair. He identified a “bundle of issues” that are germane to the integration movement that he will place focus on including trade among CARICOM member states and with external partners, job creation, transportation, economy, free movement and hassle free travel, governance and climate change mitigation.