Press release 257/2009
(01 July 2009)


(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Thirtieth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) opens in Georgetown, Guyana on July 2, 2009 against the backdrop of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Grand Anse Declaration and Work Programme for the Advancement of the Integration Movement.

The Grand Anse declaration was signed in July 1989, in Grand Anse, Grenada.

At least 14 Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), including two from the Associate Members, are expected in Georgetown, Guyana, for the Summit ,which will be formally opened Thursday afternoon at the National Cultural Centre.

The Thirtieth Meeting will be hosted by His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo, lead Head of Government with responsibility for Agriculture, who assumed the Chairmanship of the Community on 1 July 2009. The outgoing Chairman is the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize.

Both President Jagdeo and Prime Minister Barrow will address the opening ceremony, as will the Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada and His Excellency Edwin Carrington, Secretary-General of CARICOM. The opening ceremony will also feature the presentation of the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC), the Community’s highest award, to the Most Honourable Percival J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Prior to the ceremonial opening ceremony, the Heads of Government will meet in Caucus at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC).

Business sessions of the Meeting will be held 3-4 July, also at the GICC. Those sessions will be devoted to discussions on four clusters of items: Economic Development, Human and Social Development; Strengthening the Community; and Strengthening Alliances/Forging New Relations.

With regard to Economic Development, the Heads of Government will focus on the Regional impact of, and response to the global economic and financial crisis; developments related to the Tourism Sector; Developments related to Agriculture and Food Security; and matters related to Services. They will also consider the Regional Strategy for Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D); the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); the free movement of persons and impediments to regional trade in goods.

The issues and recommendations emanating from the Twentieth Meeting of the Prime Ministerial sub-committee on External Trade Negotiations, which was held at the CARICOM Secretariat on 1 July 2009, will also engage the attention of the Heads of Government in the Economic Development cluster of items.

In the Human Development cluster, the issues on which the Heads of Government will deliberate include Realising the Nassau Declaration: The Health of the Region is the Wealth of the Region; the proposal for a special summit on Youth as well as crime and security.

`The Road to Copenhagen: Strategic and Policy Issues Regarding the Region’s Climate Change Agenda, will be discussed under the cluster related to `Strengthening the Community’. The United Nations will be hosting a Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (COP15) later this year and positions to be adopted by the Region’s negotiators will be endorsed by Heads of Government at this meeting.

With regard to Strengthening Alliances/Forging New Relations, the CARICOM Heads of Government will exchange views with special guests including His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Mr. Yvo De Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and representatives of the International Financial Institutions.

Discussions will also centre on the recently-concluded Fifth Summit of the America and CARICOM-US Relations. The Summit will conclude on Saturday 4 July.


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