March 7, 2014
CARICOM heads to hold 25th inter-sessional meeting

Climate change and the nature of the region’s economy are two of the key issues to be discussed early next week, when the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders gather here for their 25th inter-sessional meeting.{{more}}

According to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, the two topics are on a long list of items that are to be discussed at the Buccament Bay Resort on Monday and Tuesday next week.

“The agenda is quite long, but I would like to see the following matters to be central: the regional economy and what we can do to together, which will involve evening the economic integration; sorting out much better the freedom of movement; that whole bundle of issues concerning the economy, Gonsalves said.

“We have to address in a more focused manner, climate change and disaster preparedness, all the dimensions of it and that’s a big item of practical importance,” he added.

The prime minister also indicated that he would like to have crime and security discussed at the summit that he is slated to chair.

“In fact, one of the reasons why I wanted the meeting postponed after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was going to China… is that I want crime and security to be discussed and she is the lead prime minister on citizen security in the region.”

The meeting was postponed from its earlier scheduled February 24-25 date to accommodate Persad-Bissessar’s trip, among other reasons.

Gonsalves also listed regional trade agreements with Canada, reparations, and laws surrounding medical marijuana, as well as possession laws as newer, but important items on the agenda.

“Then, a report will come to us on marine transport and air transport, because there is a transport commission and they have to report, but the work of the transport commission is not as far advanced as the work on the economic commission,” the prime minister said.

Heads of government or representatives from the 15 member territories are expected to attend next week’s conference.