B’dos at forefront

Barbados is in the forefront of efforts to come up with a new plan to reform CARICOM.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley and the island’s CARICOM Ambassador Robert Morris are central figures in consultations on a new five year strategic plan for the regional grouping, talks which started here yesterday and are scheduled to end tomorrow.

In a statement on the issue, the CAIRCOM Secretariat based in Georgetown, Guyana said Barbados was the country chosen to pilot the discussions and said the plan expected from the talks was “a critical part of the Reform process within CARICOM, which has been initiated by the Conference of Heads of Government.

It noted the consultations here were being led by its change facilitation team from headquarters in conjunction with Morris.

The discussions started yesterday with CARICOM institutions and organisations, the private sector and labour movement.

The team was to meet with Stuart today, in addition to the representatives from the Caribbean Policy Development Centre and Non-Governmental Organisations, while it will hold sessions with Mottley and CARICOM Consular offices stationed in Barbados tomorrow.

“The recruitment of a change facilitation team emanated from the discussions of Heads of Government at their Inter-sessional Meeting in Suriname in 2012 after receiving a report on the Review of the Secretariat,” CARICOM officials stated.

“The Heads agreed that it was necessary to re-examine the future direction of the community and the arrangements for carrying this forward which would include the role and function of the CARICOM Secretariat.

The five year strategic plan for the Community will, among other things, identify the priority areas of focus for the community and guide the restructuring of the secretariat. Even while awaiting the completion of the Strategic Plan, the Secretary-General has begun some corporate reforms within the Secretariat.”

It was also pointed out that Stuart and other CARICOM Heads “approved the outline of the strategic plan at their Inter Sessional Meeting held in Haiti, last February and agreed to appoint change drivers in each Member State with overall responsibility for coordinating and facilitating the change Process at the national level”.

“In the first instance, the change drivers will coordinate the national consultations on the Strategic Plan. Ambassador Morris has been designated as his Barbados’ change driver,” the secretariat explained.

“The consultations in member states will include stakeholder groups including Heads of Government, Leaders of the Opposition, Members of Parliament, representatives of Business, Labour, Youth and other civil society groups, CARICOM Institutions and other key organisations with headquarters in the Member State.

“These consultations are intended to address the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the Caribbean Community; Priority Areas for the attention of the Community in the period 2014-18; and the most appropriate and efficient governance and management structures for the Community,” it added. (SC)

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