Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet has commended member states for their cooperation and solidarity in both times of success and hardships, reminding of some of the achievements as well as challenges all through which the Community has continued to stand firmly. In his end-of-year statement issued on Friday, Chastanet said that Caricom exemplifies that spirit, “when we celebrate our achievements in different fields of endeavour and when we stand in solidarity with those who are faced with adverse circumstances”. In elaborating, he said that nation-states stood solidly at the side of the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco in The Bahamas as they were ravaged by Hurricane Dorian. “It was heart-wrenching for me to witness first-hand the aftermath of that catastrophe which claimed many lives and demolished property and infrastructure. However, it was heart-lifting to see the response, as once again, the other Members of the Community, both individually and regionally, rallied to the support of a sister state in distress, under the direction of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA),” the Chastanet said.The Chairman also noted that a major challenge faced by member states – climate change— and emphasised the importance of regional and global efforts to combat devastating effects which impact the Community.“As we enjoy ourselves over the season, let us not neglect our responsibility to maintain the environment. Let us, for example, take heed of the global anti-plastic campaign which includes avoiding the use of plastic bags, single-use plastics and Styrofoam. Taking care of the environment is one element in building our resilience to mitigate the threats posed by climate change and other issues which threaten to derail our development efforts,” he stated.Further, he added that Caricom will continue to build economic resilience through its cornerstone, the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) which will benefit all members and their nationals.He also mentioned the critical importance of Caricom strengthening certain significant aspects in order to reduce threats to the Community.“The strengthening of our internal arrangements and our actions in concert have been critical in our attempts to minimise threats to the viability of our economies and financial sector, such as those posed by blacklisting and denial of correspondent banking. The disruption to daily life and commercial transactions by those actions is a significant fetter to stability and prosperity,” he said.Chastanet also stated the importance of building and maintaining allies in the international community which would allow member states the opportunity to influence on the international stage and advance our interests.