August 6, 2020

Barbados becomes first member state to fly official CARICOM flag

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Barbados’ Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) David Comissiong today announced that the official flag of the regional body will be flown at all embassies, high commissions and diplomatic offices of member states as of Wednesday.

According to Comissiong, this is being doing as a gesture intended to embody the region’s pursuit of collective and coordinated foreign policy across the world.

Moments after hoisting the Caricom flag over government headquarters, Comissiong revealed that the move was proposed by Barbadian officials at a meeting of the Caricom Council for Foreign and Community Relations and was intended to be officially implemented starting on Caricom Day, July 4.

But doing it today serves as a tribute to Prime Minister Mia Mottley who completes her stint as chairman of the regional grouping today.

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has replaced Mottley.

According to the Ambassador Comissiong, use of the flag projects the region’s unified presence and image at 208 diplomatic missions across 55 countries.

“There are massive things that need to be done and we recognise that no single Caricom state can accomplish those major things on its own. But we also recognise that when we bring together our collective strength, we are a force to be reckoned,” Comissiong declared.

“This is a major step forward and it says that we have all come to recognise that there are some major things that we need to accomplish in this international arena whether on issues of climate change, getting international organisations to remove their discriminatory policies against developing countries like ours, or the new moral international leadership that Prime Minister Mia Mottley has called for,” he said.

Officials from the Cuban and Venzuelan embassies attended the ceremony, along with the associations of Guyana, Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines in Barbados. Barbados’ CARICOM Youth Ambassador Chad Monerville and social activist David Denny were also present.

Comissiong urged those in attendance to recognise that the region has something “very special” to add to global discussions on issues of human rights, dignity and the struggle for freedom.

“I still don’t think we recognise how unique a people we are . . .  and what makes us so unique is our history and the fact that 90 per cent of our populations came from the depths of oppression. We know what it is to be deprived of human rights and dignity and we know what it is to have to struggle for freedom and dignity and to hold onto our intrinsic humanity against all kinds of systems that want to dehumanise us and we take that for granted,” he said.

“This is about CARICOM resolving to fully make its mark on this world and to add something good, valuable and constructive to international affairs, but also to be as efficient as possible in pursuing our own vital interests by doing it collectively rather than as single nations,” he added.

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