Regional Government leaders meet in Placencia tonight

Posted: February 15, 2016. 5:08 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Placencia in the Stann Creek District is tonight playing host to the 27thInter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government.Picture-of-Heads-of-Government-July-2009-001

Among the topics on the agenda are the regional response to the Zika virus and benefits from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change including access to climate finance.

Tonight’s opening session will be addressed by host Prime Minister and CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Outgoing Chairman, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart; and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Government leaders are expected to discuss the way forward after Zika was declared an “international public health emergency” by the World Health Organization (who) two weeks ago. At least five CARICOM Member States have diagnosed cases of the Zika virus.

How CARICOM builds on the COP 21 Paris summit last December, where the region’s negotiators helped shape the historic agreement that takes account of the 1.5 degree option in temperature rise as well as spending the 100 Billion US dollars annually for both adaptation and mitigation agreed in a special fund is also on the agenda.

CARICOM Ministers and their technical officials met last week Thursday and Friday to further analyse the agreement ahead of the Inter-Sessional Meeting. The Paris Agreement will be opened for signature and ratification at the United Nations in New York in April.

CARICOM Heads are also expected to continue deliberations on the implications for the regional banking sector from loss of corresponding banking relationships.

The Heads of Government last year established a Committee of Finance Ministers to work with the Caribbean Association of Banks to develop a plan to deal with this matter.  That Committee will meet on Monday 15 February, ahead of the Intersessional Meeting to deliberate on a regional strategy to go forward to the Heads.

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