BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 15, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will meet in Barbados early next week to discuss issues ranging from current public health concerns to strengthening ties with Africa,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat has announced.
It said that at the February 18-19 Inter-Sessional summit, the leaders will “also have an exchange of views with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau”.
Trudeau is seeking CARICOM support for his country’s bid to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Canada, Norway and Ireland are the three countries vying for two seats available to Western European countries and Canada. The winner will occupy the seat for two years.
“Canada and Caribbean countries have always had strong relationships and almost one million people of Caribbean descent live in Canada. These relationships are based on shared values and partnerships in the fight against climate change, the promotion of democracy, trade, economic growth, and security. I look forward to meeting the leaders of CARICOM to discuss how we can work together to strengthen the Caribbean, and build a better world,” Trudeau said.
The Secretariat said that the two-day summit, which will be chaired by host Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, 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)
The regional leaders are also expected to examine the status of implementation of provisions of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region.
“In this regard, they are expected to have an engagement with representatives of the region’s private sector, labour and civil society,” the Secretariat said, adding that the summit is also 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 Secretariat said, adding that the leaders 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.