How do the new and next generation of leaders in the Caribbean see the future? What is their vision for 2030 and beyond? How can they work better together to face the economic, political and security challenges and opportunities they face? How do they envisage the Caribbean countries can best work together in the future? What relationships do they want with the wider region and traditional and new partners?
Today, the difficulties facing the region are no longer simply about competing effectively in a globalising economy. Rather, they are existential threats which bring into question the fundamental viability of the Caribbean itself – economically, socially, and physically. Governance challenges, transnational crime, the decline of regional industries, international diplomacy, disaster vulnerability, and energy security are some of the problems.
Undoubtedly, these problems can be effectively addressed by improved governance, increased capacity, and regional cooperation to create a peaceful, self-sufficient, globally competitive and resilient region that will deliver for its people a high quality of life in the most important areas of human well-being. These include health, education, employment and security as the Caribbean has the potential of becoming:
- a financially stable, expanded and effectively integrated prosperous region whose economic expansion is driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship with strong linkages to regional and global value chains and connected by efficient and affordable land, sea and air transport, high quality infrastructure and ICT networks;
- a region that enjoys a high level of human development, vibrant culture, citizen security, rule of law and social mobility and low levels of inequality and national and transnational crime; a region that is pursing development which is environmentally sustainable with respect to waste, pollution, air quality, urbanisation, depletion of natural resources and stands at the highest level of disaster preparedness including a well-capitalized and accessible standby facility to support reconstruction in the event of a natural disaster;
- an energy sufficient region optimising use of renewable energy sources and minimising use of fossil fuels in order to supply efficiently stable, affordable and increasingly clean energy to households and businesses and;
- a politically stable region which coordinates its foreign policy to maximise international influence to advance domestic interests and which engages in transparent management of an efficient and effective public sector that meaningfully engages the private sector, with the main driver of change being trade.
Who will lead the Caribbean – David Jessop, Dominican Today senior Op-Ed contributor
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