The Caribbean integration process is evolving in new and exciting ways but that process requires action on the part of regional governments to give substance to what has been in the minds and hearts of Caribbean people for a very long time.
The setting for Caribbean people to press their demand for less talk and more action from their leaders was provided at a Forum on the future of the Caribbean calling for ‘disruptive thinking, bold action and practical outcomes’. It was held in Trinidad in 2015 and jointly hosted by The University of the West Indies and the government of Trinidad and Tobago. The forum’s agenda was carefully designed to capture the ambitions of the Caribbean people, embrace Caribbean convergence, tackle poverty and inequality, find innovative financing solutions and shape a new global compact through diplomacy.
This book is a distillation of the action agenda presented at the forum by heads of governments and their ministers, industry professionals, representatives of international and regional organizations, academics, young professionals and significantly, youth leaders. Its thirteen chapters, divided into four sections address issues of concern for the common citizen:
¿ air and sea transport to facilitate movement of people and goods throughout the region;
¿ energy to reduce high costs and provide incentives for the development of regional energy networks;
¿ finance to facilitate market-making mechanisms that connect financial markets in the region;
¿ food security to facilitate trading within countries of the region.
The conclusions presented in these pages are clear; action requires modernizing institutions in CARICOM and addressing its governance shortcomings. The new action framework must provide incentives for more dynamic decision-making processes leading to real integration within CARICOM, the broader Caribbean and even countries in Central and South America. The main message from the people and of this book is not about what to do, it is about doing – a responsibility that falls on all Caribbean citizens and their governments.
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