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Jul 2, 2018

PM Goes to CARICOM Head of Government Meeting

Irwin LaRocque

Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country for Jamaica over the weekend where he is scheduled to attend the Thirty-ninth CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Montego Bay.  The conference which begins on July fourth will be hosted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and will focus primarily on issues relating to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, as well as disaster management and climate change.  The Conference of Heads of Government is attended by leaders from all member states, the body being the supreme organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction.

 

Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General, CARICOM

“From yesterday, the first of July, Prime Minister Holness became the chairman of the Caribbean Community.  He will serve in that capacity for the next six months and he will chair the Heads of Government meeting which begins with the opening ceremony on Wednesday afternoon in Montego Bay.  The working sessions of the conference of Heads of Government will begin on Thursday and into Friday, with the first day being devoted to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.  There will also be a discussion on that day along with the CSME on the Golding Commission Report.  There’s been a review of the CSME, I am sure you’ve been hearing about it, we reported on that at the last meeting relating to previous decisions and commitments and an implementation plan with timelines which has been set out.  Earlier this month, we heard the views of various stakeholders, I held a stakeholders consultation in Georgetown, in June it was, to hear from them the perceptions on the CSME and how best to make it more effective.  And these views will also be presented during the discussions with our Heads of Government.  Another major item on the agenda is disaster management and recovery.  The effects of last season’s hurricanes are still very much being felt in the affected states.  As we are all well aware, most of our member states and associate members are in the hurricane belt and given that the forecast is for more intense and more frequent mega-storms, we have to be prepared for dealing with more disasters similar to hurricanes Irma and Maria.  These discussions will be taking place against the background of a need to build a climate resilient community.  The effects of climate change are a major challenge quite apart from the mega-storms.  Other events such as prolonged droughts and unseasonal heavy rainfall also requires us to examine our preparedness.”

 

Prime Minister Holness assumed chairmanship of CARICOM on July first.  His tenure will last for the remainder of the year.

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