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Busy week as Caricom works to fight pandemic


Busy week as Caricom works to fight pandemic
Secretary General of CARICOM Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. (GP)

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government on Tuesday continued discussions towards initiating the economic recovery of the region which has been significantly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

At the 13th Special Emergency Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held virtually, they received an update on the Caribbean Economic Recovery and Transformation (CERT) Plan, which is being devised by a regional team of experts under the leadership of the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley.

A statement released by the Caricom Secretariat on Thursday said they commended the team on its work and looked forward to its completion.

The Special Emergency Meeting was presided over by the chair of the conference, Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and they discussed other urgent matters.

“They issued three statements among which they emphasised their unswerving support for Guyana in the border controversy with Venezuela. They also called for a global summit to address equitable access and distribution of the vaccines to combat the pandemic. The Heads of Government further denounced the unilateral declaration by the United States which designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism,” the statement said.

The Heads of Government session was the first in a week which will see the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meeting on Thursday morning. The agenda for that meeting includes reviewing plans for the Thirty-Second Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government which will be held on February 23 and 24. 2021.

The committee will also engage with the heads of regional Institutions and the Secretary-General of Caricom Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Thursday afternoon to discuss matters including the economic impact of the pandemic as well as the Community’s ongoing reform process.

The week continues with the Caricom Council of Ministers getting together on Friday to advance preparations for the Intersessional Meeting, including discussions on a provisional agenda as well as to approve the 2021-22 Budget for the CARICOM Secretariat.

LaRocque said the week’s activities underline the urgency which is necessary to tackle the adverse social and economic effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on CARICOM.

“Our Heads of Government are leading the way in seeking a path to recovery from the effects of the pandemic and to continue to build the resilience of the Community.

“The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) provides a solid platform and the collaboration among the member states, the regional institutions and the Secretariat which proved so effective in the Community’s relatively successful containment of the virus  is another factor in our favour,” LaRocque added. (PR)

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