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    Caricom's Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 July 2018

“We need the youth with us,” said Caricom's Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Finding ways to best integrate young people into the Caribbean Community (Caricom) will take center-stage at the organization's 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.

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“We need the youth with us. We need to provide them with more information so that they can advocate on behalf of the community. This is not about the CARICOM Secretariat; this is about building a community for all of us so that all our peoples can benefit,” said Caricom's Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

With Caricom youth ambassadors expressing displeasure over the regional blocs' lack of transparency when it comes to decision-making, LaRocque affirmed that the upcoming conference would address the issue during a host of talks, according to the Loop News. He also emphasized that he's been engaged on social media with youth throughout the Caribbean to listen to their views and opinions.

Another pressing issue that will be on the official agenda deals with disaster management and recovery.

“The effects of last season’s hurricanes are still very much being felt in the affected states.  As we are well aware, most of our member states and associate members are in the hurricane belt, and given that the forecast is for more intense and more frequent mega storms (this year), we have to be prepared for dealing with more disasters similar to hurricanes Irma and Maria,” the secretary-general pointed out.

“These discussions will be taking place against the background of the need to build a climate-resilient Community. The effects of climate change are a major challenge quite apart from the mega storms. Other events, such as prolonged droughts and unseasonal heavy rainfall, necessitate that we examine our modes of preparation and response if we are to survive in this new normal.”

Caricom's 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government is scheduled to take place in Montego Bay, Jamaica between July 4 to 6.


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