Caribbean culture on firm ground in '03 By Shirwin Campbell
Guyana Chronicle
December 23, 2003

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Caribbean Culture, a unique celebration that cannot be copied any other part of the world, took its place in the life of CARICOM in 2003.

Secretary General of CARICOM Edwin Carrington, during his end of year press conference to review the year, noted that politics was not allowed to dominate the year since culture also claimed its share.

According to Mr. Carrington, CARIFESTA held in Suriname, August 08 was one of the highlights of the year, which put our people together in the new member state country.

That extravaganza further contributed to the cementing of the position of Suriname in the community as well as enhancing the role of culture.

He noted that because of this development such an opportunity by other member states is indeed eagerly being sought in an attempt to emulate that achievement as soon as possible.

He however noted that HIV/AIDS continue to be the centre of our community and our battle has been a difficult one.

Across the globe, it has proven to be an uphill task and regionally it is no less daunting, he added, but welcomed the help of $6M Euros from the German Development Bank.

He noted that the fight is an effort to which all of us have a duty to contribute because the threat is to us and our community.

"Against that background we celebrated our 30th Anniversary and a number of activities were embarked upon to mark that occasion" the Secretary General stated.

He hailed the torch run across the Caribbean as a success which took place throughout every member and associate member state of the community beginning in February in Trinidad and Tobago and concluding in Jamaica in July.

The Secretary General said that the exercise has since been enriched by a series of distinguished lectures and anticipates it will be completed with the publication of a book chronicling the development of our community, entitled "Our Caribbean Community"

We are hoping this can be done by the time of the intercessional meeting scheduled for March 2004 since it will be an important contribution to the development of our youths in preparation for taking the community the next step forward, he explained.