The first-ever Strategic Plan for the Caribbean Community is designed to significantly chart a developmental path for Caribbean people over the coming years.
So says Barbados??? Ambassador to CARICOM and National Change Driver for the Strategic Plan 2015-2019, Robert ???Bobby??? Morris.
His comments came as he spoke with members of the media at the just concluded 35th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which was held in Antigua from July 1 to 4.
During their closed-door session on Thursday, CARICOM Heads of Government reviewed the Plan and gave it the thumbs up.
Explaining his role in educating Barbadians about the Plan, Ambassador Morris said: ???I am going again to meet with the Leader of the Opposition. I have met with her twice so far [and] she has had her inputs into the Plan. I met with the [Barbados] Manufacturers??? Association … [and] the labour group. I???ve met with almost everybody. But clearly my bigger role now is moving from those small groups into the wider community. Because if every Barbadian ???, if every CARICOM citizen is not aware of what we want to do, and is not allowed to buy into the Plan, [then] I don???t think we have much chance of success.???
The Envoy noted that since the Strategic Plan placed great emphasis on re-stabilising the economy, Heads of Government took the opportunity to hold discussions with key business leaders.
???We met sometimes with presidents and secretaries of various associations at the administrative level in the private sector. But, we are sending a signal that Government cannot carry the [burden of the] region by itself. The role of the private sector is very important,??? he affirmed.
In addition, he noted that part of the developmental process would also involve building on the concepts of CARICOM identity and unity, since, according to him, ???… there are still too many people who don???t know what CARICOM is [and] what it means???.
The five-year Strategic Plan was one of the items on the agenda at this year???s summit. It is designed to help the governments and people of the region to better cope with the demands of a changing world; and foster greater regional integration, as well as economic, social, environmental and technological development.
Change Drivers have been appointed in Member States to mobilise national communities in the roll out of the plan, and its implementation, adjustment, monitoring and evaluation.