Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government meet in Barbados, 18-19 February 2020, with issues ranging from current public health concerns to strengthening ties with Africa before them.
The Heads of Government were also expected to have an exchange of views with the Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Justin Trudeau.
However CBS News has reported that Trudeau cancelled his trip to Barbados scheduled for Monday as indigenous demonstrators and their supporters continue to halt train service across parts of the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is expected to attend the CARICOM summit instead of Trudeau.
According to CARICOM Today, the 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM, under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, is expected to deliberate on a regional approach to the Corona Virus (Covid-19) as well as the continuing challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Heads are also expected to examine the status of implementation of provisions of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). In this regard, they are expected to have an engagement with representatives of the Region’s Private Sector, Labour and Civil Society.
Among other pressing economic development matters, the Meeting is expected to discuss digital transformation in CARICOM and an action plan for elimination of regional roaming charges.
The need for ongoing advocacy against the challenges of blacklisting, de-risking, and withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Services is also expected to get the Head’s attention.
The Heads are also expected to discuss a proposed CARICOM African Summit among a number of Foreign and Community relations matters.
They are also expected to address crime, violence and security issues affecting the Region.
The Meeting, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), begins at 9:00 a.m. with Opening Remarks from CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Out-going CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia; and CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados.
This will be followed by a Presentation to the Meeting from Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau.