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PM Skerrit urges regional leaders to truly assess value of 9th Summit of the Americas

Dr Roosevelt Skerrit- Prime Minister of Dominica along with other CARICOM Heads of government attended the ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles

Roseau, Dominica: Dr Roosevelt Skerrit- Prime Minister of Dominica along with other CARICOM Heads of government attended the ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, and arrives on the red carpet prior to the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas, Wednesday, June 8, 2022. 

After reaching the event, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit issued a statement and outlined his purpose for attending the Summit. He talked about various matters of concern. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit also celebrated his 50th birthday and stated that a birthday is a time for reflection, celebration, and planning the future. 

PM Roosevelt Skerrit also outlined three broad political purposes for joining the Summit of the Americas: 

  • Firstly, he makes a personal appeal for the invitation, attendance, and full participation in this Summit of the leaders of every country in the Caribbean region without exception, whether in person or virtually.
  • Secondly, he urged regional leaders that everyone must truly assess the role and value of this Summit in addressing serious challenges faced by the countries and peoples of the Americas.
  • Thirdly, he asked that they acknowledge that his first two ask are essential for this gathering to be a serious, transformational, decision-making one, which prioritizes the common purpose of the development of the region, and the promotion of the dignity of citizens.

“The Summit of the Americas substantially informs the mandate of the Organization of American States. The OAS’s Charter promotes engagement and acknowledges the right of member countries to choose their mode of the organization, as well as their political, economic, and social system,” underlined PM Skerrit. 

He added that this language embeds in the Charter and the organization’s respect for sovereignty and strategic cooperation among the countries of the region. The work and Outcome of this Summit are as jeopardized and impoverished by exclusions as they are by boycotts. The boundaries of politics and geography are artificial because they are highly pervious to disease, poverty, to the movement of people and goods.

“True multilateralism shelters and includes everyone, gives a voice to all, and shows respect to all. In that regard, given Cuba’s record and history of extraordinary humanitarianism, I invite the community of the OAS to join me in calling for an end to the blockade against the Government and People of Cuba and the termination of Cuba’s unjust listing as a State which sponsors terrorism,” PM Skerrit added. 

He further asserted that they are in the Americas and share a neighborhood. The front yard of one country is the backyard of another. It is farcical to expect that a problem that starts in my backyard and ends up in your front yard, or vice versa, can possibly be resolved without common dialogue, buy-in, political will, cooperation, agreed action, and joint implementation. As regional leaders, we must promote inclusion, justice, common purpose, peace, and prosperity in our front and back yards. 

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit shed a light on the Ninth Summit of Americas and said that the summit is being convened at a difficult time regionally and globally. The World Bank classifies the Americas as the world’s second most disaster-prone region. 

Upon climate change, PM Skerrit added, “Climate change and environmental degradation are now major drivers of poverty, migration, and refugeeism. Our country’s battle against a global pandemic that threatens to overwhelm our health care systems has resulted in social and economic reversals, as well as damaged our tourism products and revenues. 

He further outlined the various matters of the concerns that will be discussed in the summit and stated that they will discuss exist in a bubbling regional cauldron of social, economic, and environmental challenges such as constrained fiscal space; restricted development capital and spending; rising inflation; increasing unemployment; shrinking Official Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment; high levels of crime and gun violence; the widening digital divide and inequalities; growing insecurity and the increasing incidence and multiple costs of chronic non-communicable diseases. 

“It gives these backgrounds, regional leaders have challenged to quell national fears, offer confidence in the face of uncertainty, create policy solutions, and build trust. We can do so only if we work collaboratively at the international and regional levels and with national populations to envision, discuss and construct just and equitable post-COVID-19 societies, which are anchored on a green recovery, for our planet and people.”

He further added that the seriousness and the danger of the times compel them to put aside the discord and factors which threaten and compromise the building of the equitable future towards which this summit is intended to work. 

PM Skerrit asserted,” It is with this realization and as a committed regionalist that I journey to California to be part of the summit and participate in the summit as the proud recipient of a Jose Mati award as a brother of ALBA countries. 

He added that at this, the Ninth Summit of the Americas, the gift to the peoples of the Americas must be peace and prosperity for the shared common good. PM Skerrit stressed that together everyone must ensure this summit reinvigorates and reinforces the principles and values of the charter and produces an outcome in which all leaders have been engaged and all countries are invested and to which all member states are committed. 

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