Prime Minister, the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, said the issues under discussion at the Ninth Summit of the Americas exist in a seething regional cauldron of social, economic and environmental challenges.

The Honorable Prime Minister was accompanied to the summit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Kenneth Darroux.

Previously (CARICOM) had threatened to boycott the event due to efforts by the host country to exclude Cuba and Venezuela from participation.

“This Summit of the Americas is convened at a difficult time regionally and globally. The World Bank ranks the Americas as the world’s second most disaster-prone country. Climate change and environmental degradation are now major drivers of poverty, migration and refugeeism. Our countries have been battling a global pandemic that threatens to overwhelm our healthcare system and has resulted in social and economic setbacks as well as deterioration of our tourism products and revenues. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has further disrupted global supply chains, exacerbated food shortages and increased inflation initially caused by Covid-19,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.

The prime minister said that because no country in the region is immune, a united front is the most logical approach to tackling the current challenges.

“Limited fiscal space, restricted capital and development spending, rising inflation, rising unemployment, declining official development assistance and foreign direct investment, high levels of crime and gun violence, widening digital divide and inequalities, growing insecurity and increasing incidents and multiple costs of chronic non-communicable diseases.In this context, regional leaders are challenged to allay national fears, offer confidence in the face of uncertainty, create political solutions and build trust. We can only do this if we work collaboratively internationally and regionally and with national populations to envision, discuss and build just post-covid-19 societies that are anchored on a green recovery for our planet and our people,” noted Prime Minister Skerrit.

The Prime Minister says times are tough and there is no room for discord if we are to resolve the challenges countries collectively face in the Americas.

“The gravity and danger of the times compel us to set aside the discord and divide that threaten and undermine the building of the equitable future towards which this summit is destined to work. It is with this awareness, and as a committed regionalist, that I travel to California to be part of the conversation. I am attending the summit as a proud recipient of the Jose Marti Award; as a brother of the countries of Alba; as a member of the southern hemisphere and as a friend of the northern hemisphere; as a leader and citizen of these Americas. At this ninth Summit of the Americas, our gift to the peoples of the Americas must be peace and prosperity for the shared common good,” Prime Minister Skerrit added.

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