Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will lead Barbados??? delegation to the upcoming Thirty-Fifth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which takes place at the Sandals Grande Resort in Antigua, from July 1 – 4.

Other members of the 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 Secretaries Sonja Welch (Prime Minister???s Office), Charles Burnett (Foreign Affairs) and Bentley Gibbs (Foreign Trade); and Chief Research Officer, Paula Byer.

Prime Minister Stuart will meet with his regional counterparts on a myriad of issues affecting the region, and key among them will be discussions on a new Strategic Plan for the Community that will promote development over the next five years.

On the issue of Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery, Prime Minister Stuart, as Chair of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Reparations, will update fellow heads about the Committee???s recommendations.

The Caribbean Commission on the Economy will present to the Heads of Government proposals for a sustainable fiscal strategy and regional debt management action plan, inter alia, that will help to pave the way for economic growth in the region. That Commission is chaired by Senator Darcy Boyce of Barbados.

It is envisaged that Heads of State will hold discussions with key regional business leaders to ascertain ways of promoting greater private sector investment, public-private partnerships and economic resilience on the margins of the summit.??Another important agenda item for the urgent attention of Heads of Government is the state of negotiations for a CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement.

Of special interest to Barbados is the Community???s position as it relates to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Climate Change and the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The decisions of the Heads will set the tone for the Community???s preparations for the third SIDS Conference, which will be held in Samoa from September 1 – 4, and in which Barbados is expected to play a key role.

Other notable agenda items are Security; the terms of reference of the Commission on Human Resource Development; the Regional Commission on Marijuana; and border issues, among other matters.??Leaders will also have bilateral discussions with special guests, including the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Roja.

The meeting will be preceded by the Eighth Special Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers on June 30 and the Seventeenth Meeting of the Council of Finance and Planning on July 1.??During Mr. Stuart???s absence, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, will act as Prime Minister.

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