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Prime Minister Bruce Golding leaves the island on Saturday, September 15, 2007 to attend a one-day Summit of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is Mr. Golding’s first official visit overseas since assuming office as Prime Minister on Tuesday.
Heads of Government will also meet in Caucus on the margins of the summit to deal with economic and trade issues relating to the European Union which must be finalized by year-end. They will also discuss issues to be raised at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda in November.
The Health Summit is being held against the background of a report from the Caribbean Commission of Health which was presented at the 27th Conference of Heads in 2006. The report drew attention to the high rates of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension in the region. In February of this year Heads endorsed a proposal to convene a Regional Summit on Non-communicable Diseases with a view to developing a regional policy to reduce the prevalence of these lifestyle diseases.
The Hon. Dr. Ken Baugh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Hon. Rudyard Spencer, Minister of Health will accompany the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister returns to the island in the afternoon of the same day. During his short absence the Hon. Derrick Smith, Minister of National Security will be in charge of the government.