Ali Emphasises CARICOM’s Resolve To Address Crime, Violence – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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Incoming Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairman, Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, has expressed the organisation’s resolve to effectively address crime and violence in the Region.

In a New Year statement, Ali said this included combatting the illegal weapons trade through the Region’s “War on Guns” campaign.

“Regional security is an increasingly critical matter,” the Guyana President declared.

“We live in a world where peace is challenged from one corner of the universe to the next,” he noted.

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However, Ali said that the Region ended 2023 with CARICOM’s robust role in assuring the rule of international peace and security “in our corner on the world and ensuring that Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole remained a Zone of Peace”. 

“We shall continue 2024 with this respect for international law. We all remain committed to peacefully and by legal means resolving border controversies,” the Guyana President stated.

Guyana and Venezuela have an unresolved border controversy.

Venezuela claims over two-thirds of its neighbor’s territory in the resource-rich Essequibo region.

In his New Year address, the Guyana President asserted that CARICOM would leave no stone unturned to return its Member State, Haiti, to peace and stability. 

“Our Region must remain a Zone of Peace,” the incoming CARICOM Chairman stated.

In addition, Ali said ensuring the Region’s food and nutrition security continues to be at the forefront of CARICOM’s endeavours. 

He recalled that despite adverse challenges, including climate change, CARICOM Member States have steadily progressed in achieving the ‘25% by 2025’ target to reduce the Region’s food import bill.

” We will build on these achievements,” Ali said.

He noted that the last six months of 2023 saw CARICOM under the Chairmanship of Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt, whom he thanked for his outstanding leadership.

” I invite his continued participation as a Member of the Bureau – and of course, his active involvement as a Member of Conference as CARICOM implements critical initiatives to the benefit of all our people,” the incoming CARICOM Chairman stated.

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