Outgoing CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington was recently awarded Suriname’s highest national award. He was appointed Bearer of the Grand Sash in the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star.
Carrington is stepping down as the regional body’s most prominent public servant.
CARICOM assistant secretary general, Edward Greene was also bestowed with the distinction of Grand Officer in the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star. Both CARICOM officials also received the Youth Lifetime Achievement Award at the Presidential Palace in Paramaribo.
According to Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse, Carrington is the champion of Caribbean regional integration. During his 18 years at the helm of the CARICOM Secretariat, he demonstrated professional skills of true leadership, which have benefited the CARICOM member states and the integration movement. Also during Carrington’s term in office, the regional body became a prominent organization, said the Surinamese head of state.
The ceremony was held during Bouterse’s 65th birthday.
Both CARICOM officials were left almost speechless when the announcement was made.
However, they both noted that, since Suriname became a full member of CARICOM in July 1995, the country has played a major role in regional integration efforts, especially in the field of youth development. They noted that Suriname has played a leading role in the community.
Carrington said that Suriname will assume the chair of the organization in 2011.
He said Bouterse will bring the same leadership and vision of his predecessor Ronald Venetiaan.