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NYC holds talks on CSME

NYC holds talks on CSME

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by Vanesta Murphy

The Theme for CARICOM Day July 4, was “Securing A Better Future”.

In a collaborative effort, the National Youth Council (N.Y.C.) and the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors held a press conference to enlighten the public as to the benefits of St. Vincent and the Grenadines being a part of CARICOM and the CSME, and what role they will play in our future.{{more}}

Altocha Anderson – who has been a CARICOM Youth Ambassador for one year- stated “We share a common background and culture. By developing working relationships, we are exposed to better education. This means that the voices of our young people get heard.”

In 1973, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were the first to sign on to CARICOM, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines joining the following year on May 1.

Joel Abraham, the 3rd Vice President of the N.Y.C. responsible for regional affairs said that he believes St. Vincent and the Grenadines is behind the other countries with regard to education. This, he said is because islands like Trinidad and Tobago can facilitate tertiary education. He went on to state that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to move at a fast pace if we intend to catch up.

Abraham extended congratulations to Dr. Ralph Gonsalves for signing on to the CSME in St. Kitts on Monday July 3rd. So far only four countries have passed trade union recognition laws. Eleven countries have passed laws with respect to the free movement of university graduates, but most countries have not yet passed legislation to implement free movement of the other approved categories of workers. Issues of passport requirements, work permits and developmental skills among others are yet to be resolved.

How can CARICOM secure our future? According to Kyle DeFreitas, who has been a CARICOM Youth Ambassador for the last 2 years, CARICOM is a leader in boosting of electronic learning, I.T. and the reusable energy project. The 21 member states have the benefit of being one united voice fighting for the same cause. He went on to say that being a united force would aid the Caribbean in globalization. He also stated that the hope for the CSME is that we will be able to lean on each other in times of economic hardship. This ties in well with the motto of the CSME “Stronger voice in the global economy”

The N.Y.C. and the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors are planning activities to help heighten the public’s awareness about the CSME. Although no dates have yet been scheduled for the community forums, the groups are appealing to the public to find out as much as they can about the CSME and form their own opinions instead of swallowing what the government tells them. The public is invited to send comments, queries and concerns to CYASVG@GMAIL.COM.

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