Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will leave Barbados on Monday, July 3, to attend the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at the Radisson Hotel in St. George’s, Grenada.
The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, July 4, at the Grenada Trade Centre, and the conference will conclude on Thursday, July 6.
Mr. Stuart and his CARICOM counterparts will have a packed agenda for the upcoming summit, with Heads of Government expected to review the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and plans for its implementation among Member States. They will also be given an update on the progress towards completing the Protocol on the Refusal of Entry of Persons.
When they meet in a closed-door session, regional leaders will discuss the matter of regional security, as it relates to CARICOM’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, especially as the Caribbean attempts to grapple with terrorism and violent extremism.
Other critical issues include Future Trade Relations with the United Kingdom post–Brexit; and the Heads of Government will also consider Recommendations from the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Air Transportation.
Furthermore, they will discuss Tourism in the Region, against the backdrop of ways at building a Caribbean Tourism Development and Marketing Initiative. They will also receive a report from the Caribbean Commission on the Economy, chaired by Barbados.
Border issues with Belize and Guatemala, as well as Guyana and Venezuela, are down for deliberation, with host Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, requesting heads to debate the issue of CARICOM Small States – Opportunities for Financing for Development, as well as a Regional Plan for Statistics Development.
CARICOM leaders will also try to make headway with Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery; ratify some decisions; and deal with a number of procedural matters. They are expected to review Instruments Submitted for Adoption and Signature; and the Port-Of-Spain Declaration + 10 – Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases.
Debate will also focus on CARICOM’s Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy; Consideration for the Work Plan and Budget for the Single ICT Space, and Rotation of the Chairmanship of the Conference (January 2018 to June 2022).
Other members of the Barbados delegation include: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean; Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce; Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cecile Humphrey; and Chief Research Officer, Paula Byer.
Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, will act as Prime Minister during Mr. Stuart’s absence.