A significant review of Caricom, that is its internal structure, membership and institutions, is currently underway.
And Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque says associate members like Cayman will reap benefits gaining more say in regional matters once complete.
Mr LaRocque, speaking with Cayman 27, says, “I have long believed that the associate members can derive greater benefits from Caricom” and it is that premise driving his all-encompassing review of the regional body’s governance structure, its agencies and membership benefits.
“I have established a programme of work and some of the institutional reviews I would like to end sometime around 2019. It is a formidable bit of work,” he says.
During July’s pre-joint ministerial council meeting Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin called for associate members to be given more influence in regional matters. It is something Mr La Rocque agrees with and to this end he has established a committee to address this.
“Cayman Islands has named one such high official, the Cabinet Secretary and we are looking forward to engaging to hear some of the ideas coming from the associate members on how we can enhance the relationship,” he says.
The Secretary General was in Cayman for the Caribbean Week of Agriculture last week at the Westin, a top-level Caricom event hosted for the first time by an associate member, which Premier McLaughlin says is good for Cayman.
“To host a major event like this in agriculture is clear evidence the progress we have made is being internationally recognised,” he says.
Over three hundred delegates from the region including agriculture ministers and stakeholders participated in the week-long event. Government is yet to state the total cost of hosting the event and how much revenue was generated from Caribbean Week of Agriculture.