10/05/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/05/2021 06:55
Dominica joined its Caribbean and Latin American counterparts in Mexico to debate and agree on a way forward for Caribbean and Latin American countries on shared needs regarding the health and economic crisis generated by the pandemic.
The covid-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities of the region as it became one of the hardest hit by the covid-19 crisis.
Speaking at the Sixth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit called for CELAC members to focus on solving the rising issues within the region.
"We are not here to advance any technological pursuit. We are here as leaders to solve people's problems. The formation of CELAC was to create that space for ourselves within the Caribbean and Latin America to address real problems of real people. and it is important therefore for us to appreciate and understand what were and what are the founding principles and the founding objectives and goals of CELAC; and to recommit ourselves to these founding principles, goals and objectives so that we can have a clear path of creating solutions to the challneges confronting our people," PM Skerrit stated.
In view of the extent of the challenges facing the countries of the region, Mexico, in its capacity as Interim Chair of the CELAC, requested the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to prepare a plan for self-sufficiency in health matters for the region, not only assessing and analyzing the situation but also advancing lines of action for strengthening capacities to produce and distribute vaccines and medicines in CELAC countries.
PM Skerrit noted that he believes that the leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean can find solutions to the problems that their countries face if they work together.
"We have been through struggles before," PM Skerrit stated, going on to add that "our forefathers fought for our independence and we now must fight for the independence of our own societies and the independence of our own people by empowering them with the tools to survive as independent people. And so I urge us as leaders to focus on this fundamental principle."
Prime Minister Skerrit his gratitude to Mexico for their support to Dominica and the region saying "I really want to commend the President of Mexico for the leadership that he has shown in 'reviving' CELAC and to say to the Mexican President that we in Dominica are very grateful for the solidarity which Mexico continues to show to us in Dominica in particular, and of course the entire Caribbean."
Prime Minister Skerrit went on to reiterate his call for regional leaders to work in unity to overcome current and future challenges.
"I want to urge us to redirect our energies to solving people's problems. We have within us the capacity to solve those problems and our people are looking to us to solve these people's problems. We are here as a testimony and as a testament of our commitment to these principles and these ideas. We have traveled in the most difficult of periods, having to test at every single stop you made to be here, because we want to say to all of us in this Caribbean and Latin American space that we are in it together and we can overcome this challenge only by being together," PM Skerrit added.