Members of Delegations,
Sisters and Brothers,
In the name of the People’s Revolutionary Government,
and in the
name of the people of Grenada, I extend a most cordial and warm welcome
distinguished friends and colleagues from the sister states of CARICOM
Today you are our esteemed guests and we are happy to
because your presence here underlines once again, the historic,
on–going ties which exist between our countries and our peoples.
Your presence is also historic because it is the very
that our country is hosting a meeting of the Standing Committee of
Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs.
Certainly we are glad for this opportunity to emphasize
again Grenada’s firm and abiding commitment to Caribbean regionalism;
Caribbean integration process and to CARICOM as our region’s foremost
Mr. Secretary–General, only a few weeks ago our
integration movement lost is stalwart - Dr. Eric Williams,
who had been an early proponent of the cause of regional unity and
We all share this loss.
His passing [29 March 1981] places on our shoulders an
greater responsibility to press on to achieve the noble cause of
and integration in our region.
I ask Mr. Secretary–General, that we pay tribute to the
Dr. Williams by observing a minute’s silence.
This Sixth Meeting of the Standing Committee of
responsible for Foreign Affairs takes place amidst a very complex and
international situation of both political and economic dimensions.
Just next door in the neighbouring Central American
country of El
Salvador there exists a focal point of tension and insecurity.
Though based on false premises which have now been
and discredited, the realization of the threat of direct foreign
in El Salvador could plunge the Central American and Caribbean area
stats of open conflict in a vain attempt to frustrate the legitimate
of that heroic people.
Historically, our Caribbean community has always
struggled on the
side of peace.
Today, as these on–going and new dangers confront us we
shirk our historic responsibility, but instead must employ all our
however limited they might be in the noble pursuit of peace.
All of our diplomatic and foreign policy work must be
towards working along with those who are calling for just and lasting
situation of this bloody conflict so close to home; and toward the
accomplishment of the lofty and vital objectives of peace, justice and
This Committee must note with deep satisfaction that
days ago the Organization of African Unity [OAU] meeting in Nairobi,
unanimously adopted a resolution which strongly condemned Western
South Africa’s illegal hold on Namibia.
In a historic demonstration of unity and collective
will all fifty Heads of States or Government denounced the unholy
between Pretoria and Washington, and condemned what they described as “sinister moves” by the Reagan
Administration to circumvent efforts being made to bring about
United Nations supervision.
In reiterating our own principled support for the
struggles and the call for justice, equality and self–determination in
Southern African region, this Committee will certainly wish to take
note of the
firm, principled and most recent stand by these distinguished
of the people of Africa; a people with whom we in the Caribbean share
unbreakable ties of blood, history and solidarity.
With regard to the Middle East, we cannot afford to
ignore the continuing tensions and conflicts generated and perpetuated
Israel’s latest act of aggression against the sovereign
independent Arab State of Iraq aggravates Middle East tensions.
The bombing of the Iraqi Nuclear Installation
[7 June 1981] constitutes a flagrant breach of international law and a
violation of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.
We must place on record our condemnation of Israel’s
premeditated aggression that was vulgarly timed to gain cheap electoral
We must demand that Israel refrain from such acts in
and insist that Iraq be fully compensated for the material damage and
Mr. Secretary–General, two issues of particular concern
Commonwealth countries are the issues of apartheid in sports and the
U.K. Nationality Bill.
Because these are matters which, in one way or another,
touch and concern our people, this Committee will need to analyse them,
their full implications and impact and take firm and principled
will ensure that the legitimate interests and concerns of our people
Commonwealth and Third World citizens are fully respected and upheld.
Certain divisive and exploitative forces are attempting
our countries into a situation of Cold War alignment.
To us, this is an area in which relations in and out of
region must be founded on the principles of cooperation, peaceful
mutual respect, non–interference in the internal affairs of other
the practice of ideological pluralism.
Policies of confrontations, Cold Way rhetoric and
buildup threaten to erode the gains won in the period of the 1960’s and
under the guidance of the Non–Aligned Movement.
It is in the interest of the Caribbean Community of
struggle for harmonious relations in the region.
This meeting will be followed by the United National
Assembly which opens in New York in September.
Coordinated positions and issues of importance to this
must therefore be ironed our before we face the rest of the
Of great significance are the up–coming Mexico Summit,
Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Australia and the 11th
Assembly of the Organization of American States, which will once again
in the Caribbean, this time in the sister state of St. Lucia in early
This meeting should be a useful context for caucusing
positions regarding the several critical issues which will need close
collaboration at these extremely important meetings.
Mr. Secretary–General, Sisters and Brothers, as we
international political situation we cannot disregard the international
There is no doubt that the world is facing a serious
This crisis begins in the Western industrialised
inevitably spread to the economies of the dependent developing
However, although the origin, the basic roots of the
beyond the border of the developing countries, our subordinate and
position in the world economic system means that we suffer the most
effects of the crisis.
This reveals the unjust, inequitable and anarchronistic
of the present world economic system.
As noted elsewhere this international economic crisis
proportions which is unfolding is having a severe impact on our region.
Tourism has taken a sharp downward decline for the
region as a
The prices of most of our major export commodities are
The price of basic imports - fuel, food, medicines,
escalating at a rate that spells danger, if not disaster for our small,
If is against this background, and from the point of
view that we
observe international economic justice, that the Caribbean Community
continue to wage militant struggle for the establishment of a new
economic order first proposed by the developing nations and later
fair–minded groups from the industrial community such as the [unclear]
International Economic Order [NIEO],
must be deployed to guarantee better and more stable prices for our
better terms of trade.
It must democratize the international monetary system,
terminate domination and manipulation of the international economic
system by a
few big countries and their multi–national corporations.
It must increase the transfer of resources, both
technological from the developed to the developing countries.
In short, the New International Economic Order can and
make a contribution to alleviating the existing exploitative World
Clearly, also, better commodity prices will give our
indeed the developing world in general purchasing power which can then
for the purchase of more industrial products.
In this way the developing countries will also assist
recovery of the stagnating industrial economies.
It is fundamentally regrettable that agreement on the
of the round of global negotiations on international economic
not reached at the 11th Special Session
of the United Nations General Assembly in 1980.
The responsibility for this failure must be placed
the door of the three Western industrialised countries which assume a
uncooperative and irrational position at the two sessions.
We must devote maximum effort and energy to have these
change their position and implement the programme of action on the
establishment of the New International Economic Order.
This Committee will therefore want to put particular
the upcoming Mexico Summit which could well represent
the last real chance to energize vital
discussions around the need for a New International Economic Order.
Mr. Secretary–General we must also demand that the
resources employed in the creation of unproductive and dangerous
gainfully utilized in the interest of the developing countries and
This more efficient use of the world’s resources will
to consolidate international peace and security.
This colossal waste of the world’s resources could be
tremendous economic benefit to developing countries, and more
the more disadvantaged and small island developing states such as most
These states are characterized by a variety of features
considered normal for poor, underdeveloped countries.
These features include a very low and generally
development as well as a lack of institutions and organizations
In addition, small island states obviously have small
sizes and small resource bases.
The limitations of such small island base are many,
need of a much stricter, economic and social use of the limited land
Land use polities are therefore often indispensable to
housing, agriculture, recreational and other developmental needs.
The other features and unique limitations of small
have been elaborated elsewhere.
Grenada, an no doubt, other sister states, has not
opportunity in the international arena to discuss this issue gaining
understanding and support of the inherent structural difficulties faced
The Caribbean Community though relatively small, cannot
be isolated from international and regional peace, security, justice,
Hence the significance of the Agenda before us which
examined with due consideration given both to the past and future work
Before going further Mr. Secretary–General, I wish to
attention to the recent formation on the 18th of this month of the
of Eastern Caribbean States [OECS]
as an encouraging and significant development for our sub–region and
The closer co–ordination in fields such as economic and
policy which the Treaty of Basseterre seeks will help to further
the integration process started by those seven  countries as far
This is a positive and correct response to the
which demands the closest co–operation among States, since most of
problems and issues recognize no borders, and in fact transcend
The OECS Treaty, in the light of the relatively weak
the Lesser Developed Countries of CARICOM can bolster CARICOM itself,
this regard is a highly positive actor in the present regional
Another positive factor in which this Committee must
satisfaction is the ever growing acceptance of, and study devoted to
concept of the Caribbean as a zone of peace.
This concept first endorsed at the Latin American and
level by the Hemispheric Organization of American States at its 9th
Assembly in La Paz, Bolivia, in 1979 was, and remains a collection
the stepped–up military activities initiated in the Caribbean by forces
seek to perpetuate the syndrome of dependency and exploitation.
Some of the substantive requirements to be satisfied in
have our Caribbean effectively become a zone of peace includes the
(1) Prohibition of nuclear weapons in the region.
(2) An end to all aggressive military manoeuvres in the
(3) The dismantling of all foreign military bases in
(4) The decolonisation of all of our territories and
establishment of machinery to end all forms of aggression, including
assassinations, mercenary invasions, propaganda interventions and
and economic pressures.
When these conditions are fulfilled he most vital
for progressive development and peace will characterize our Caribbean
Certainly, our sister state of Belize now so close to
independence, yet still beset with a web of issues which threaten to
delay her legitimate attainment of independence with full territorial
integrity, stands to benefit from this declaration.
I am certain that this Committee will wish once again
our fullest support for and solidarity with, the Government and people
Equally important is our region’s deep and continuing
with the constant threat of mercenary invasions.
The cause of peace in the Caribbean can e further
strengthened if metropolitan countries take urgent and active steps to
the recruitment, financing, training, transit, assembly and use of
in violation of established International Law.
The declaration and practice of the Caribbean as a zone
would also undoubtedly help to enhance the security of all Caribbean
Mr. Secretary–General, distinguished delegates, this in
summarizes the nature of the International and Regional situation.
It is a very grave one and we face many dangers.
To improve the existing situation in the region and in
Caribbean Community in particular and to deal effectively with the
problems and issues affecting the regional and integration process, a
Heads of Government meeting seems the next logical step in community
The CARICOM Heads of Government have not met since 1975.
This is a fundamentally unfortunate reality as many
occurred which necessitates a meeting of the highest organ of CARICOM.
A CARICOM Heads of Government meeting will also serve
strengthen CARICOM and will constitute a useful forum in which to
views and work out common approaches in light of the complex and tense
and regional situation.
We in Grenada and no doubt other countries in the
like to see this Sixth Meeting of the Standing Committee responsible
Foreign Affairs recommend strongly a meeting of CARICOM Heads of
Mr. Secretary–General, almost 150 years after the
slavery, after nearly two decades of formal independence for several
of our region - we ask ourselves where are we as a people?
What is the state of our housing; our health
educational institutions, our physical infrastructure, how developed is
Our industrial base and our intra–regional institutions
The truth is that despite progress on some levels,
countries are still dependent and vulnerable, vulnerable to hurricanes
vulnerable to international political pressures and economic
In an effort to deepen the integration process started
years ago, my Government issues a strong call for unity, solidarity and
integration among all members of the Caribbean Community.
Let us face the world as one united region conscious of
collective strength and our individual frailty.
As a people we are building a genuine process of
relations based on respect and co–operation.
We respect sister countries of the region and expect
them to take
independent decisions and to pursue, if they so wish, independent paths.
But with your kind indulgence, Mr. Secretary–General, I
stress that Grenada is obviously not opposed to our sister States
assistance from whatever source they wish to receive from them.
Indeed, we urge all donors, potential donors to make
substantial contributions to the region’s poor.
However, what Grenada take exception to will continue
is the manipulative and divisive use of funds geared towards
institutions, our solidarity among us and our people’s integrity.
Grenada will always condemn neo-colonialist and
tactics whether they are disguised, dressed up or naked.
For our part, Mr. Secretary–General, i pledge Grenada
Government’s willingness to continue to work in a spirit of fraternal
sisterly co–operation for greater Caribbean community integration.
Our record is clear.
We are fully committed to even greater and greater
unity among us
in the region, even greater and greater practical co–operation.
These in fact are among our guiding principles!
In the spirit of the region’s true pioneer
integrationist and in
the memory of the outstanding Caribbean statesman, we once again
welcome all of
you to Grenada.
Mr. Secretary–General, sisters and brothers, I declare
open the 6th
meeting of the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Foreign
and wish that our deliberations be constructive, fruitful and help to
the process of brining more benefits to the people of our region and
that must always underline all of our efforts.
Grenada, Mr. Secretary–General, pledges to continue to
towards a stronger, brighter and more united Caribbean.
Thank you very much.