The new Director of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit at the Caricom Secretariat, Mr Carlos Wharton, has prioritised a stocktaking exercise in relation to the work of the Unit.
Wharton, who took up office on August 1, is tasked with leading the Unit, one of two within the CARIFORUM Directorate based in the Secretariat.
The Unit was set up to facilitate the implementation of the CARIFORUM-European Union EPA, by providing CARIFORUM States with technical guidance and assistance in meeting the commitments and taking advantage of the benefits outlined in the Agreement.
Mr Wharton pointed out that, “The stocktaking exercise will provide a chance for a retrospective as well as a prospective look at the Unit’s work, in particular, and EPA implementation, in general.”
He underscored that, “once the stocktaking exercise is completed, the Unit would have generated the information necessary to plan further action and to effect a way forward with respect to its work programme.”
In this regard, Mr Wharton noted that the Unit has a distinctive role to play in facilitating the implementation of the EPA said he is especially looking forward to working closely with national and regional partners, with a view to strengthening national capacity among CARIFORUM States to implement the Agreement.
He added that under his leadership the Unit would build on its strength of extending technical support to national counterparts.
Mr Wharton concluded that, “in going forward, I want to ensure that the Unit is well positioned – particularly in the context of partnerships and resources – to be even more responsive to the needs of regional states at a time when they have to contend with many challenges brought on by the changing realities of CARIFORUM/EU relations, a critical part of which is the EPA.”
He indicated that he was happy to be on-board, and was looking forward to working with his team to roll out the Unit’s work programme.