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2021 – A very challenging year for CARICOM says Chairman Gaston Browne

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Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2021. 4:22 pm CST.

By Ruben Morales: In his end of year message, Chairman of CARICOM, Gaston Browne said 2021 was a very challenging year for CARICOM which had to use “our collective wit, wisdom and strength to combat the adversity with which we have been confronted”.

CARICOM, he said, was shocked by the assassination of a sitting Head of State and Government, the president of Haiti Jovenel Moise, while having to deal with COVID-19, an earthquake in Haiti and a volcanic eruption in St Vincent and the Grenadines which affected Barbados as well, tropical storms, and the disappointment of the global climate summit COP26.

Despite these challenges, Browne highlighted some positive developments including the strengthening of relations with Africa through the “historic first ever CARICOM-Africa Summit”.

Browne also said that St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which closed its two-year term on the United Nations Security Council, did a good job highlighting the issues of importance to small states.

Antigua and Barbuda took over leadership of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) which played a key role in the negotiations at the recently concluded COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

He lamented the passing of two stalwarts of regional integration sir Lester Bryant Bird of Antigua and Sir James Mitchell of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Wishing everyone “a happy and safe holiday season”, Browne said the commitment of both Bird and Mitchell “must serve as an inspiration to us all, as we continue to build our Caribbean Community into a resilient Region capable of surmounting whatever obstacles to progress are placed in our path”.

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