CARICOM looking to creatives for input, ideas to bolster post COVID-19 resilience

Participants during the ‘First Regional Dialogue on Culture in a COVID-19 Environment” which was held virtually

Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Douglas Slater, told regional culture stakeholders from government and the artistic community that their input and ideas were crucial to post COVID-19 resilience.

He was speaking at the beginning of the ‘First Regional Dialogue on Culture in a COVID-19 Environment’ which was held virtually on Wednesday.

Dominica was represented by Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence.

“The Region looks to you as an important stakeholder to provide it with your inputs and ideas. If there was ever a time that we need culture and creativity to address our challenges, it is now,” Dr. Slater opined.

He said the meeting was timely and addressed an issue that was very relevant to the Region. According to him, COVID-19 had upended almost every aspect of CARICOM’s economic and social development. He said Member States had a tremendous challenge ahead in addressing the upcoming hurricane season, given existing vulnerabilities.

He encouraged the representatives of the creative industries to prepare to demonstrate the importance of culture as an element in the lifeblood of society, noting that there was a critical role for creatives to play in the rebuilding of a resilient Caribbean Community.

In his remarks, Dr. Slater also gave an overview of the actions taken by the CARICOM Secretariat since the advent of COVID-19 in December 2019. He outlined that the CARICOM Secretariat had been monitoring the development of the virus almost daily. He also disclosed that the Secretariat had been working closely with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) along with other Regional stakeholders and partners from the onset. He noted that there had also been significant engagements with the air and cruise line industries…

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