Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will travel to Bridgetown, Barbados to participate in the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to build even stronger ties with the region.
The Caribbean region and Caribbean states are important political, economic and cultural partners of Canada, and the visit will serve as an opportunity to further strengthen its partnership with this regional grouping of 20 Caribbean member states and Associate Members, and nearly 20 million people, the release said.
Trudeau is expected to discuss challenges of mutual interest, including protecting oceans and the environment in the fight against climate change – in a region that is particularly vulnerable to its impacts, as well as creating good jobs for the middle class and sustainable economic growth.
The Canadian Prime Minister will participate in group discussions and hold bilateral meetings with CARICOM leaders.
The formal summit of regional leaders will get under way on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. with remarks being delivered by CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Outgoing Chairman, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of St Lucia; and host and current Chairman, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. It is expected to be televised live on CBC TV Channel 8, and livestreamed throughout the region.
Prior to the conference, there will be a meeting of CARICOM’s Community Council on Monday, February 17, at the LESC, beginning at 3:00 p.m.
During the summit, heads of government will examine agenda items such as the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); De-Risking and Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking, the Report on the Commission on the Economy; and security matters and border issues between Belize and Guatemala, and Guyana and Venezuela. They will also have discussions with the private sector, labour and civil society and meet in caucus to examine security issues, among other items.
Regional leaders are keen to forge stronger links with Africa, and they will also take time to discuss their first CARICOM-African Union Summit to be held in June, as well as the 15th Meeting of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, (UNCTAD), which takes place in Barbados from 18-25 October.
Another key highlight for CARICOM leaders will be the opportunity to bolster multilateralism through an exchange with a special guest.
The Intersessional summit will close with the ratification of a number of decisions made at the two-day caucus, the adoption of the Communiqué, and setting the date for the 41st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Caribbean Community has 15 member states – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. It also has five associate members – Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Mottley, other regional leaders and the CARICOM Secretary General will host a press conference on Wednesday, February 19, at 5:00 p.m. at the LESC to provide an update on decisions made by leaders and their implications for the region.
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