CARICOM Chair and Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley explains some of the outcomes of the 31st Inter-sessional CARICOM Meeting. Looking on is Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Regional leaders have come to a number of important decisions which they hope will propel growth and development throughout the 15-member and associate member states.

CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, disclosed this during a press conference, hosted along with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, at the end of the 31st Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Giving a synopsis of decisions, Ms. Mottley noted that a number of agreements were signed by Dominica, the British Virgin Islands and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in order to advance the work of the region for the benefit of the Caribbean people, with the most significant decision being the settlement of roaming rates by Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Ms. Mottley added that if leaders stayed on track, the region’s people would significantly reap benefits over the next few years, especially in the area of telecommunications.

She said: “The conference has agreed that Prime Minister Mitchell’s technical committee will now meet with the telecommunications companies and that we will await the final implementation of the regime, as well as the other areas of digital governance for which Prime Minister Mitchell has responsibility.”

Ms. Mottley added that Prime Minister Skerrit, who has responsibility for free movement within the region, would review all of the processes to further simplify the process to see whether there should be further categories of persons who should be allowed to move, for example, persons with CSEC certificates.  She said his report would be submitted at their July summit.

Chair of CARICOM, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, hosted a press briefing at the end of the 31st Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (BGIS)

“We were also able under the Single Market and Single Economy to be able to take note and reflect on a number of issues.

“We are firm of the view that we need to enhance our governance mechanisms, and to that extent we’ve asked Prime Minister Gonsalves to be able to pull on technical working groups that were hitherto presented to Heads of Government, and that would bear revisiting again because of the need for us to guarantee implementation across all other member states,” she noted.

Ms. Mottley reiterated that a report would come to the next Heads of Government meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that would review the technical working groups that came out of the Rose Hall Declaration in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 2003.

CARICOM Heads of Government closed their informal summit by ratifying a number of decisions.  There were instruments of accession on the part of Belize to the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency, and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between CARICOM and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and UAE’s Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs, Omar Ghobash, to build on existing areas of cooperation.

cathy.lashley@barbados.gov.bb

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