THE Caribbean Community (Caricom) will ensure that former Prime Minister and President ANR Robinson be remembered as “a true Caribbean Man” whose ideas led to the establishment of the West Indies Commission and the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The commission and the CSME set in train the establishment of other Caricom institutions, Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said in a statement yesterday.
Robinson’s “seminal contribution” to Caricom, LaRocque said was the presentation of his paper “The West Indies Beyond 1992” at the Conference of the Heads of Government at Grand Anse, Grenada in 1989, which led to the creation of the West Indian Commission.
The paper helped set the tone for the conference out of which, he said, “emanated the idea for the Caricom Single Market and Economy, the Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians and the Caribbean Economic Conference.”
The paper, he said called for the establishment of a West Indian Commission of eminent West Indians “to promote the purposes of the Treaty of Chaguaramas with special emphasis on the process of public consultation and involvement of the peoples of Caricom through leaders, teachers, writers, intellectuals, creative artists, businessmen, sportsmen, trade unionists, religious and other community organisations.”
The commission, which Robinson urged to “let all ideas contend” produced the publication Time for Action and set in train, La Rocque said, the establishment of the Association of Caribbean States.
Robinson’s interest and commitment to regional integration, he said, continued during his presidency through his involvement in the Annual Conferences of Presidents and Governors-General of Caricom.
For his service to Caricom, Robinson was bestowed with its highest award, the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC) in 1998 in St Lucia on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Expressing condolences to his children, other family members and to the Government and People of TT, LaRocque said, “Robinson’s legacy to our Community has endured and will ensure that he will be remembered as a true Caribbean Man.”
The only TT national to become Prime Minister and President, LaRocque said “his courage, integrity and strength of character were epitomised in his unyielding utterance, ‘Attack with full force’, when held captive during the invasion of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament in 1990.”
For the original report go to http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,193194.html