Jamaica serves as host country and Prime Minister Golding serves as chairperson.
His opening speech was quite on target in capturing the essence of the challenges that face the region.
click to get a copy of speech.
The biggest test intrinsic challenge was captured in this portion of Hon. Golding’s speech.
“Of all our failings, perhaps our greatest is to believe that we can unite the Caribbean without first uniting the Caribbean people.That is an issue this Conference must take up in the context of the governance structure that we must address. Let Montego Bay, as it has done in the past, be a turning point, a new beginning”.
I just recently attended a series of meetings in the celebration of Caribbean American heritage month. The folks involved in these meetings were leaders of various civic and business groups. However, in each of these meetings some wisecrack about Jamaicans seem to surface. Jamaicans are perceived as a people who are strangers to humility and reflective thinking (my summary). We always want to be in charge and ignore input from the small Islander. Am I stirring up a wasp nest here or is it reality we need to work through. How can we allow the issues of our collective good trump our personal differences?
I know the Air Jamaica and the cement issue with our Trinnie friends still sting.
We need to develop a more sustainable cooperation/competition model.
Think for instance if the BP spill start to do damage to any of our beaches. The brightest legal mind on this issue happens to be from the Bahamas. He has shared a grave concern the the Islands have no legal claim to the BP $20B escrow given the present international maritime laws!
This is an issue we better collectively make lots of noise about and take preemptive steps to protect ourselves.
We have lots to do to unite our Caribbean peoples.
We will need to enlist a regional trust, engage all minds, empower all people, enforce a policy of mutual respect, and enthuse our people with a greater symbiotic vision.
Emerson captured the essence of the type of leadership we need to practice in these challenging times.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
What will you and I do to advance this cause?