When Caribbean leaders start their 36th Regular Summit in Barbados today, under the theme CARICOM: Vibrant Societies, Resilient Economies, they will have a packed agenda.

Key topics will include: Key Issues and Recommendations from the Round Table Dialogue – CARICOM: Vibrant Societies, Resilient Economies; A Partnership For Implementation; The Caribbean Community???s Sustainable Development in the Context of the International Agenda; The United Nations Post 2015 Development Agenda; The Third International Conference on Financing for Development; and The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP21), Paris, France, December 2015.

Leaders will also meet to discuss Strengthening and Utilising Science and Technology in the Region: the Report of the CARICOM Science and Technology Meeting; Universities and the Push for Economic Growth in the Region; Principles to Guide the Identification of CARICOM Candidates for International Positions; and a Proposal for the Establishment of a New Regional Institution – the CARICOM Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Border issues are expected to be tabled, and they will include the relations between Belize and Guatemala, Guyana and Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.??There will be a formal exchange of views with special guests, including President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodr??guez, and United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The President of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, is also expected to attend this year???s historic summit.

Prior to today???s formal opening ceremony, a High-Level Strategic Dialogue between the CARICOM Heads of Government and United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon will be held under the theme CARICOM: Vibrant Societies, Resilient Economies, A Partnership for Implementation, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

During the opening ceremony, there will be addresses by outgoing Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Perry Christie, and incoming Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, along with the newly elected and re-elected Heads of Government of Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Dominica, and Suriname, and the CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque.

There will be special engagements with the outgoing Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, and President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodr?guez. The three-day conference will conclude on Saturday, July 4, CARICOM Day.


Author: Cathy Lashley/CARICOM

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