Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2022. 11:28 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of Belize John Briceño summarized the progress made and collective decisions taken at the 33rd Intersessional meeting now concluded at Grand Caribe Resort, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.
First, he addressed plans to boost agriculture to enhance food security and reduce dependence on food imports, as developed by President of Guyana Dr Irfaan Ali.
On COVID-19, the importance of vaccination was emphasized to help the reopening and expansion of lagging economies and atrophied education systems, with plans to develop and implement a region-wide campaign against disinformation on vaccines.
Heads resolved to use the engine of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) to power the region, with Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley to head a revived CARICOM Economic Recovery and Transformation Committee which will review recommendations. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) and the CARICOM Commission on the Economy was included and an emphasis placed on industrial development, with President of Suriname Chan Santokhi named to head industrial policy.
On regional and international affairs, there was discussion with Haiti Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry on how CARICOM can help the beleaguered country get out of its current mess, and issued fresh condemnation of Russia’s advance into Ukraine, which has roiled international markets.
The issue of climate change will also take a more prominent role in regional discussions as the region plans mitigation efforts and tries to pry more concessions from developed nations at the next Conference of the Parties due to be held in Egypt.
The next regional meeting will be held in Suriname in July, chaired by President Santokhi.
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