CARICOM Heads Begin Three-Day Meeting Today

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, arrives at the opening ceremony of the 38th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean community (CARICOM) in July 2017 at the Grenada Trade Centre, Grand Anse, St. George’s, Grenada.

Story Highlights

  • The 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will take place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James from July 4-6 under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
  • The opening ceremony will begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday (July 4) with presentations from Prime Minister Holness; outgoing CARICOM Chairman, President Jovenel Moise of Haiti; and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
  • The Conference will welcome its newest member, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Mottley, who was elected to office following the country’s May 24 general elections.

The 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will take place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James from July 4-6 under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

The opening ceremony will begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday (July 4) with presentations from Prime Minister Holness; outgoing CARICOM Chairman, President Jovenel Moise of Haiti; and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

The Conference will welcome its newest member, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Mottley, who was elected to office following the country’s May 24 general elections.

Prime Minister Mottley, along with Prime Ministers Dr. the Hon Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Hon. Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, who were re-elected to office this year, will also address the opening ceremony.

Over the course of the three-day meeting, the leaders will tackle a number of critical issues that impact the economic and social advancement of the countries of the region.

Among the key agenda items are crime and security strategy, disaster management and climate change, and implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Other areas for discussion include the upcoming 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which will be the first to be held in South America.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade indicates that Jamaica’s chairmanship will place particular focus on the CSME given the critical importance in facilitating the expansion of investment and trade in goods and services as well as the free movement of people across the region.

Prime Minister Holness is expected to address his colleague Heads of Government on the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks.

The Commission, led by former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, looked at the effectiveness of Jamaica’s membership within CARICOM, with respect to trade in goods and services, investment, international competitiveness and job creation.

The Heads of Government will also tackle crime and violence and the implications for the development of the region.

Prime Minister Holness had urged the regional leaders to place the matter as a priority when he attended the 38th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads in Grenada in July 2017.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has 15 Member States – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, and five Associate Members – Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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