A full house of leaders is expected for this week’s Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in Jamaica at which Prime Minister Mia Mottley officially takes her place as the newest CARICOM head of government, following her election on May 24.
Prime ministers Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, who were recently re-elected to office in general elections on March 13 and March 21 respectively, will also be welcomed back into the CARICOM fold during Wednesday’s official opening ceremony of the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Convention Centre, Montego Bay.
Also down to address the gathering are the outgoing chairman of the conference, president Jovenel Moise of Haiti; the incoming chairman and host prime minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica and CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
Following the opening, heads will meet in plenary and caucus from July 5 to 6 to deliberate on a range of critical matters, including measures impacting the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, crime and security in the region, building post-hurricane disaster resilience, and emerging geo-political developments which can have an impact on the region’s growth prospects. They will also receive and discuss the final report on the CARICOM Commission on marijuana.
The leaders are also due to meet with the president of Chile Sebastían Piñera Echenique, who is no stranger to the community having met with CARICOM leaders during his first presidency in 2012. Areas of common interest include disaster management, climate change, and sustainable use of oceans.
The heads will also meet with the new president of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. This will be the first opportunity for CARICOM as a collective to engage their Cuban counterpart on CARICOM-Cuba relations and on issues of mutual importance.
Ahead of Wednesday’s opening ceremony, there will be a meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning, COFAP, which has responsibility for economic policy coordination, and financial and monetary integration. The council, comprising finance and economic development ministers, will present its economic policy recommendations to the heads for deliberation.
The Prime Ministerial sub-Committee on External Trade Negotiations, under the chairmanship of the Jamaican leader, will hold a breakfast meeting on Thursday, July 5, to consider critical issues pertaining to the community’s trade relations with third states.
Ministers responsible for disaster management and recovery will also meet on Wednesday to examine issues emerging from the 2017 hurricane season. This meeting of the CDEMA Ministerial Council will also consider the pathway towards resilience within CARICOM will be preceded by a session involving technical officials on Tuesday. Recommendations from these meetings will go forward to the heads.