Issues relating to the region’s economies and security will be the focus when deliberations begin at the Thirty-eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), today, Wednesday, July 5.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this disclosure during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, ahead of the start of the business sessions at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort in St. George’s, Grenada.
Mr. Stuart stated: “The Heads of Government meeting presents leaders with another good opportunity to assess where we are on the critical issues facing the Caribbean region. Of course, top of those issues is the state of our economies at this time and, therefore, particular attention will be paid to where we are with matters relating to the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.”
He added that during the summit, a special presentation would be delivered by the CARICOM Commission on the Economy. That Commission was established to specifically examine questions related to the economies in the Caribbean, against the background of what the region had experienced over the last decade.
In addition, the Prime Minister indicated that attention would be placed on regional security; the effects of trans-national organised crime; and the movement of firearms throughout the Caribbean. He maintained that these matters were “of growing concern to governments across the region”.
“We have to treat security seriously. For us, it is a developmental issue and not just an issue related to the discipline of people, nor an issue related to punishment and sanctions… It has implications for our development,” he insisted.
Mr. Stuart gave the assurance that Barbados would be making its voice heard at the conference since both issues were “of great concern to the country”.
“We want to come out of this conference with some clear indicators as to the way forward in these two areas,” he said.