On the occasion of the 35th Anniversary of the Caribbean Community, the PNCR joins the rest of the Guyanese nation, the people and Governments of the Caribbean and the Caribbean people in the Diaspora in celebrating this significant milestone. The PNCR has always been a promoter and unequivocal supporter of regional integration and it is useful to recall that the Founder Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, stated prophetically that the Caribbean either “integrate or perish”. It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that the PNCR takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the integration process and to restate its unshakeable belief that the Caribbean Community will fulfill the dreams and vision of its founding fathers and the hopes and aspirations of the Caribbean people.

The fact that the Caribbean Community has attained 35 years of its existence is not only testimony to its durability and its resilience but it also confirms the fact that the Community has the competence and the capacity to overcome the challenges and difficulties that it will inevitably encounter as it travels along the road to making the region cohesive, integrated and prosperous.

The PNCR believes that these difficulties and challenges, especially as they occur in the context of the novel problems of the 21st Century, will demand visionary leadership and political will if they are to be overcome and resolved in a manner consistent with the goals and objectives of the integration movement. In addition, there is need to expeditiously to implement the Single Market and Economy, the Regional Development Fund, Free Movement among the respective CARICOM states and the governance of the region since these are crucial to the realization of the foregoing objectives. In this context, the Party is confident that the Community will revisit the Report of the Technical Working Group on Governance and the relevant decisions taken thereon to ensure that the Community is efficient and action oriented at this critical phase of the integration process.

Coupled with the aforesaid, the PNCR believes that the present international and national situation appears to be favourable to the Caribbean revisiting the notion of the development of regional business enterprises that become involved in regional and extra regional development. Such enterprises would be able to be competitive and serve as a catalyst for regional integration.

At the opening of the 25th Summit Conference at the famed Dickenson Bay earlier this week the outstanding West Indian novelist and thinker, Mr. George Lamming, stated that there was a perceived gap between the political class and the people of the region and that this situation constituted an impediment to effective integration. The PNCR believes that there is merit in this observation and would like to believe that the leaders of the Community as well as its bureaucrats and technicians would understand that the sooner that the people of the region have a sense that the ownership of the integration process belongs to them, there is a likelihood that the rhythm and momentum of the integration process will assume greater urgency and movement. The PNCR believes therefore that the time is nigh when the Caribbean Community must take the required measures to ensure that regional integration becomes people centered and bridges the gap between the political class and the people of the region.

On this historical occasion of the 35th Anniversary of the Caribbean Community, the PNCR wishes the Guyanese people and the rest of the region a happy and meaningful CARICOM Day and trust that even as we celebrate this occasion we will commit ourselves to the further building of a common Caribbean home.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana.
Thursday, July 03, 2008