CARICOM Heads of Gov’t Meeting opens today

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Getty Images),

CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen – Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, will preside over the Thirty-Fourth Meeting of Heads of Government which opens in Port-of-Spain on this evening [Wednesday July 3].

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar assumed the six-month rotational Chairmanship on 1 July.

The Meeting, which coincides with the observance of the Fortieth Anniversary of CARICOM, will see representation from all Member States with only one not represented at the level of Head of Government. Three Heads of Government of Associate Members will also attend the Meeting.

In addition to Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, outgoing Chairman, His Excellency Michel Martelly, President of Haiti, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Hon. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, as well as Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, will address the opening ceremony at the Diplomatic Centre.

The historic meeting which is being convened in the city where the founding Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed on 4 July, 1973, will feature a re-enactment of the Treaty signing on Thursday at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre.

The Heads of Government will be in an all-day retreat on 5 July. There will be a cultural event that evening featuring performers from the countries whose leaders signed the original Treaty in 1973 – Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – as well as from Haiti, CARICOM’s newest Member State

High on the agenda at the Meeting will be charting a new direction for growth and development; transportation, the reform process in CARICOM and a proposal for a high-level meeting on persons with disabilities and special needs.

Special guests at the Meeting are His Excellency Obiang Nguema, President of Equatorial Guinea and Chairman of the ACP; His Excellency Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic; and His Excellency Nicolás Maduro, President of the Republic of Venezuela.

The Conference ends on July 6.