Regional leaders and CARICOM officials at the 44th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). (CARICOM Secretariat)

The 44th Regular Meeting of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Conference of Heads of Government is being held in Nassau, Bahamas, from Wednesday, February 15, to Friday, February 17.

During the summit, the Heads of Government will examine agenda items such as the Single Market and Economy (CSME); Update on COVID-19 and other emerging health issues; Advancing the CARICOM Agri-Food Systems Agenda: Prioritising Regional Food and Nutrition Security, and Climate Change and Climate Finance.

A Special Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) meeting will also take place during the three-day Heads of Government session.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has led a delegation from Barbados.  Ms. Mottley, the Lead Head of Government in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet responsible for the Single Market and Economy, including a Monetary Union, is expected to deliver a special presentation on the Bridgetown Initiative for the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture.

In addition, there will also be an engagement with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Secretary-General of CARICOM, Dr. Carla Barnett, at yesterday’s opening ceremony, highlighted that at last year’s Conference of Heads of Government held in Paramaribo, Suriname, a decision was made to convene the Heads of Government Meeting as a Regular Meeting and not Intersessional. 

In addition, there will be six meetings of the Conference annually, with regular in-person meetings being held in February and July, and virtual intersessional meetings scheduled during the year.

At yesterday’s opening ceremony, past Chair of CARICOM, Suriname’s Prime Minister, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, handed over the chairmanship to Bahamas’ Prime Minister, Philip Edward Davis.  Both leaders spoke about enhancing regional integration and working together to combat the impacts of climate change.

At the end of the three-day conference, regional leaders will ratify a number of decisions; issue a Communiqué, and select the date and location of their next summit.  CARICOM will be celebrating its golden anniversary on July 4, 2023, under the theme 50 Years Strong: A Solid Foundation To Build On.