by Caribbean News Now Staff
BELIZE CITY, Belize — Belize has taken over the chairmanship of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM).
Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington took over from his Barbadian counterpart, Maxine McClean, at the 17th meeting of ministers of CARIFORUM held in Belize City over the weekend.
Outgoing secretary general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Sir Edwin Carrington, attended the meeting and told the delegates that the decisions taken would have far reaching and qualitative impact all across the CARIFORUM.
Outgoing Chairman McClean told the delegates that CARIFORUM has made considerable progress since the last meeting held twenty months ago. This progress could not have been achieved, she said, without the tireless work of the CARICOM secretariat. The Barbadian foreign affairs minister praised Carrington for his assistance.
Love FM reported that the new chairman has some concern and said, "While CARIFORUM may have originated from an existing reality born of existing relations with the European Union we have grown since then as a group that can work together, but there is the question of our governance, of our institutional framework that requires further consideration and review. Our goals and ambitions as a group must be clearly defined. I hope and trust that we will try and look at these fundamental issues as part of our forward agenda.”
Carrington said that there are tangible benefits from CARIFORUM and he continued to champion the movement towards regional integration.
Representatives from 12 CARICOM states attended the conference.