New CARICOM Chairman Desi Bouterse has called on the region to make 2012 a year of change.
Bouterse, who is also the president of Dutch-speaking Suriname, said, “by changing the way we do things, this Community will be a changed one for the better by the end of 2012.”
In his first message since taking over as chairman of the 15-member regional grouping from St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, the Suriname head of state said the uncertainty caused by the continuing global crisis would continue to pose a problem for the Caribbean.
“The global economic and financial crisis shows no signs of abating, with the resulting challenges of unemployment, low or negative growth and increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. Given the relationship between the economic health of the major nations and its effects on us in CARICOM, it requires a major effort to overcome the challenges presented by this ongoing situation,” he said.
“We stand a better chance to confront these challenges as a group united, than each swimming against the tide alone,” Bouterse said.
He said the review of the Secretariat must be completed and the relevant recommendations implemented and operation of the Secretariat as it is a CARICOM’s principal organ.
The CARICOM chairman said that one of the main areas he would be paying attention to, will be the involvement of young people within the region.