Always strength in unity.

―We are family says CARICOM Chair Mia Mottley

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Chair of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Mottley, is urging regional leaders to remember that family comes first. “I want us today to remember that “F” comes before “I” and by that, I mean, specifically that family comes before ideology.”

Addressing leaders at the Opening Session of the 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, PM Mottley noted the challenges currently faced by the community, among them; chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, violence and climate change, and urged that leaders needed to determine how best to confront these challenges.


Chair of CARICOM, Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Mottley of Barbados.

The CARICOM Chair reminded that movement across the region in the 1930s faced common challenges and without the benefit of political organisation or labour movements, a way was found to respond, and the people were able to signal that they were prepared to take control of their destiny.

She emphasised that if those persons with the support of political organization labour movements could rise and meet those challenges, leaders today ought to be able to find the resolve to understand that their meeting today was not because of a common ideology, but because they were family.

“We are kith and kin.” … “I believe on behalf of the people of Barbados that there is always strength in unity,” PM Mottley stated.

The Barbados Prime Minister acknowledged that regional institutions; like the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, created in 2006, the Joint Regional Communications Center initially set up for Cricket World Cup 2007 which acted in various capacities when the threat of the dangerous Coronavirus became public.

She also applauded CARPHA, which she said is a relatively new regional institution for being able to work along with the Pan American Health Organization, to ensure that countries are now able to test quickly for whether persons within the regional jurisdiction have been infected with this dangerous virus.

PM Motley also thanked outgoing chair of CARICOM, the Hon. Allen Chastanet, for his passion and commitment over the last six months to the fight against the climate crisis and for the fiscal sovereignty challenges that he has continued to carry the baton for the region.

Members of the CARICOM Secretariat were also shown appreciation.

“Because the truth is, without the hard work being done by this Secretariat, we would not be in a position to be here this morning to address each other and to advance the cause of Caribbean people,” PM Mottley stated.