Heavy Agenda For CARICOM Leaders In Dominica

Greater Georgetown, Guyana – When Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) gather in Roseau, Dominica on Thursday, Haiti and the Community’s continued support to the French-speaking Member State, the Region’s response to the global economic and financial crisis, and the status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be among the main items on their formidable agenda.

At least thirteen Heads of Government have confirmed that they will attend the two-day Twenty-First Intersessional Meeting being convened under the Chairmanship of the Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica.

At the top of the agenda is the critical situation in Haiti following the 12 January earthquake which left more than 200 000 persons dead and more than a million injured and displaced. The Community’s prompt response to the disaster was led by Jamaica, which is the sub-regional focal point for the area including Haiti under the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) arrangements.

CARICOM’s primary focus in Haiti is in the area of health and it has relocated its mission to Leogane on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The Community’s Health Initiative involves some 14 health personnel who will be rotated initially every 14 days. The Community has lent tangible assistance in other areas such as providing relief supplies, conducting relief supply operations and mobilizing resources with some US$9.4M pledged to date.

The Intersessional Meeting will also feature an exchange of views with the Heads of the International Financial Institutions. Mr. Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank is confirmed for the meeting with the Heads of Government in Roseau while the President of the Inter American Development Bank and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund have also been invited.

H.E. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of CARICOM said last week CARICOM will seek to articulate its positions on the major challenges it faced when it holds talks with Mr. Zoellick. Those discussions, he anticipated, will result in the identification of new and viable approaches to the treatment of some of the major challenges facing the Community including the crippling debt burden being carried by Member States which do not now qualify for concessionary debt reduction following their graduation from middle income status. Representatives of the World Bank met with CARICOM Finance Ministers in Trinidad and Tobago last Monday to prepare for the meeting with Mr. Zoellick.

The Heads of Government will hold discussions with H.E. Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States.

Key matters related to external trade that the Meeting will address include the negotiations for a CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement; the status of implementation of the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement and the renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act.

Consideration will also be given to climate change in the context of the Region’s follow-up action to the Copenhagen Summit held last December 2009

The meeting will also consider follow-up to and preparations for upcoming summits including a CARICOM-Brazil Summit in April.

Related Articles

Back to top button