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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is affirming Jamaica’s commitment to the principle objectives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
  • This, he said, includes the expansion of trade and investment opportunities for its members; the promotion of foreign policy coordination; and structured, functional cooperation.
  • “Jamaica’s chairmanship will have a specific focus and intention, mindful of the rapidly evolving dynamics of our global world, and the need for practical effective responses to the changing realities,” he said.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is affirming Jamaica’s commitment to the principal objectives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

This, he said, includes the expansion of trade and investment opportunities for its members; the promotion of foreign policy coordination; and structured, functional cooperation.

“Jamaica’s chairmanship will have a specific focus and intention, mindful of the rapidly evolving dynamics of our global world, and the need for practical effective responses to the changing realities,” he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Wednesday (July 4) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

Mr. Holness, who assumed Chairmanship of the Conference on July 1, said his work will be undergirded by the theme ‘Building Stronger, Resilient and Secure Partnerships for Prosperity’.

“With this in mind, we will call upon all member States to summon the necessary political will and determination to ensure that all programmes and initiatives are strategically focused and geared towards meeting an ambitious process of reform,” he said.

In his remarks, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, welcomed the chairmanship of Prime Minister Holness, noting that “I have no doubt that under his guidance, the interest of our region will be further advanced”.

Ambassador LaRocque also commented that the venue of the meeting was significant, as Montego Bay has a rich history in the integration movement of the community.

“The opportunity is with us once again to have a historic moment in Montego Bay with respect to CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME),” he said.

Outgoing CARICOM Chairman, President Jovenel Moïse, of Haiti; and the Conference’s newest member, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Mottley, also addressed the opening ceremony.

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, also gave remarks.

The Meeting of the CARICOM Heads is being held from July 4-6. Among the key agenda items are crime and violence, disaster management and climate change, and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The Conference of Heads of Government, which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States, is the supreme organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction.

Jamaica’s hosting of the conference is in keeping with the regular system of rotation within CARICOM.  Prime Minister Holness’ tenure will last until December 31, 2018.

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.