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Oct 22, 2013

A regional re-branding campaign by CARICOM

Irwin LaRocque

CARICOM has been a fixture within the Caribbean since its establishment in 1973 through the Treaty of Chaguaramas signed by four countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.  While CARICOM is synonymous with regionalism, there has been somewhat of a disconnect between the organization and its member-states, prompting the regional body that is headquartered in Guyana to commence a regional re-branding campaign.  Today, CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque, along with a delegation from the secretariat, as well as local government officials, met with the media to discuss various obstacles currently being faced. 

 

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General, CARICOM

“The re-branding has to be one that sees the community as being more relevant and responsive, in a timely manner, to the needs of the people on the streets.  I think the people are not feeling us sufficiently and although we are doing it.  As we speak here today, at the Princess Hotel, I am told that there is a CARICOM facilitator here working through the schools and N.G.O.s and churches working on the issue of building capacity and guidance.  But we did not announce that we are doing this to the benefit of the Belizean community and while we are doing things, if we are not talking about it, if we’re not making the persons be aware and feel it then it’s almost as if we are not doing it.  So part of our re-branding is not only to be relevant but to be seen to be relevant, to be felt on the ground and not to be shy to communicate our successes, and not to be shy to continue reminding of our successes while we take on the challenges that we have. Every country we go to we meet, of course, with the cabinet.  We meet with senior public sector officials, the C.E.O.s and cabinet ministers here in the case of Belize and the media as the stakeholders and we meet with the private sector, civil society, the youth as a group, which is always quite encouraging and we also meet with institutions in the member-states that are impacting one way or another or part of the CARICOM architecture.”

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