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PM Barrow in Montego Bay for 39th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting Print E-mail
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Friday, 06 July 2018 00:00

The 39th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting is being held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Belize’s very own Prime Minster, Hon. Dean Barrow, left the country for the event which began on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The meeting is focusing primarily on issues relating to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, disaster management and climate change, and a discussion along with the CSME on the Golding Commission Report

Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness is hosting the conference since he assumed chairmanship of CARICOM on July 1, 2018. His tenure will last for the remainder of the year.

Apart from Prime Minster Holness, the Conference of Heads of Government is being attended by leaders from all member states.

Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General, CARICOM, shared more on the conference via a press conference. “There’s been a review of the CSME, I am sure you’ve been hearing about it, we reported on that at the last meeting relating to previous decisions and commitments and an implementation plan with timelines which has been set out.  Earlier this month, we heard the views of various stakeholders, I held a stakeholders consultation in Georgetown, in June it was, to hear from them the perceptions on the CSME and how best to make it more effective.  And these views will also be presented during the discussions with our Heads of Government.”

According to LaRocque, another major item on the agenda is disaster management and recovery. “The effects of last season’s hurricanes are still very much being felt in the affected states.  As we are all well aware, most of our member states and associate members are in the hurricane belt and given that the forecast is for more intense and more frequent mega-storms, we have to be prepared for dealing with more disasters similar to hurricanes Irma and Maria. These discussions will be taking place against the background of a need to build a climate resilient community. The effects of climate change are a major challenge quite apart from the mega-storms.  Other events such as prolonged droughts and unseasonal heavy rainfall also require us to examine our preparedness.”