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Jan 19, 2016

Foreign Minister Elrington at CARICOM Community Council Meeting

Wilfred Elrington

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington recently attended the thirty-seventh meeting of the Community Council of Ministers in Georgetown, Guyana.   Plans for the upcoming gathering of regional heads of state, to be held in Belize in February, were being discussed.  As of the first of January, Prime Minister Dean Barrow assumed pro tem chairmanship of the Caribbean Community and with the existing schedule for the next six months; Belize will have its hands full addressing regional issues, including correspondent banking and economic development.  Following the meeting, CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Minister Elrington sat down with the media.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Community Council and the and the Committee of Ambassadors really do the preparatory work for the agenda that is going to be discussed by the heads of government when we meet in Belize.  That is a fairly difficult task because there are very many important matters to be discussed and a relatively short time to try to get them through.  So that a lot of preparatory work has got to be put into it to try to make the issues as concise and as clear as possible for the heads so that they don’t have to do much deliberation in coming to their decisions on the matters that are raised before them.  So basically that is what the committee and the council does prior to the meeting.” 

 

Reporter

“And of course, the matters before the council will be some of the key issues facing the community as a whole at this point in time.  What would some of these issues be?”

 

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“Do you want to indicate SG [Secretary General].”

 

Irwin LaRocque

Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General, CARICOM

“Well, as was indicated by the minister, and by the way let me recommend the minister for his excellent chairmanship of today’s proceedings.  It was a number of issues… and I think we’ve had an excellent meeting.  The Community Council, the minister has already mentioned that the function of preparing for heads of government and of course the Committee Council has the responsibility of oversight for the work program and the budget of the community of the secretariat and obviously that was part of the work that was done today.  But there are a number of critical issues that were discussed today and some of which would find itself on the agenda.  And I will only mention in very broad passing at this point in time, there’ll be issues related to the economic and financial situation, especially some of the financial issues that will be impacting on our community, in terms of our development, will certainly find its way on the agenda in some way or fashion.  We are planning on the morning before the heads of government meeting dialogue among finance ministers who have very specific and appropriate recommendations can be made on issues of access to climate financing, of issues relating to correspondent banking and the like so that there are going to be a number of issues related to the economic development of our community.”

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