Browne: Full free movement of nationals in region soon

Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Dr Amery Browne - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Dr Amery Browne - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne emphasised the critical role of true unity at the Opening Ceremony for the Caricom Single Market Economy (CSME) Focal Point Attachment Programme at the Brix Hotel in St Ann's, Port of Spain, on Monday.

He greeted the participants from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat and Suriname, Browne highlighted the programme's significance in the CSME's implementation, stressing that they play a crucial role in keeping the engine running.

“The CSME stands as a testament to our collective determination to create a more resilient and competitive region through several foundational pillars. Member states have implemented harmonised legislative and administrative processes to allow us Caricom nationals to move, live and work.”

The events included discussions on the progress, challenges, future prospects and opportunities of the CSME. Browne underlined the collective strength that binds the Caribbean community together. He expressed gratitude to the European Union for its financial contribution.

Browne acknowledged TT's active role in regional advocacy and its advanced standing on these pillars. He told those present that heads of government have agreed to the full free movement of all nationals in the near future, with considerable efforts under way to achieve this goal.

He highlighted the decision as a monumental step forward and emphasised its alignment with the vision of Caricom's founding fathers. He urged participants to engage with ministries, stakeholders and civil society, emphasising the central focus on facilitating the free movement of all Caricom nationals.

“I hope that your understanding of Caricom's institutional framework will be strengthened through the scheduled tours of the Caribbean Court of Justice, which is headquartered here in PoS and your visit to Caricom's implementing agency for crime and security, impacts."

He ended by saying he was optimistic that with meaningful collaboration and a collective dedication to CSME implementation, Caricom realise free movement for all.

Director of the CSME unit and Caricom Secretariat Leo Preville shared the positive outcomes of the programme, citing its success in exposing focal points to member states' implementation structures, challenges and practices. He stressed the importance of understanding procedures and adhering to guidelines for successful CSME implementation.

Preville outlined various programmes, including ongoing training for immigration personnel, interactive programmes for youth, and initiatives for secondary school teachers. The attachment programme also engaged border officials and Caricom Youth Ambassadors and now focuses on CSME focal points in the private and public sectors.

He described the CSME's role as the best framework for advancing the development of member states in the economic integration regime. Preville highlighted the vulnerability exposed during the Covid19 pandemic, saying the region needs to deepen its integration to increase resilience.

TT Ambassador to Caricom Jennifer Marchand emphasised the programme's effectiveness as an instrument for Caribbean progress, highlighting unity as the starting point for Caribbean integration.

She issued words of encouragement to the patricipantes embarking on their one-week work-related attachment in Trinidad. They will be spending one day in Tobago.

Marchand said the attachment programme aims to foster integration through various activities, including engaging with ministries, government agencies, the private sector, UWI and the media. She said participants will experience a blend of work-related and cultural events.

Marchand expressed hope that participants would gain a better understanding of TT and encouraged them to explore the region's offerings. She acknowledged the CSME's evolutionary process, emphasising that full implementation would provide the greatest benefit to the population.

Despite its achievements, Marchand recognised the ongoing work needed and affirmed TT's commitment to the full implementation of the CSME.


"Browne: Full free movement of nationals in region soon"

More in this section