Press release 35/2005
(13 February 2005)



(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Mr. Edwin Carrington arrived in Paramaribo, Suriname on Friday February 11 with a team from the CARICOM Secretariat to brief the Chairman of the Community, Suriname's President His Excellency Drs. Ronaldo Venetiaan as he prepares to preside over the Sixteenth Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government on Wednesday and Thursday 16-17 February. The briefing was held at the Office of the President and looked at the agenda issues as well as the several meetings to take place in the run up to the Heads of Government meeting.

As part of the preparatory process, the Community's Legal Affairs Committee (LAC) and Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (PREPCOM) concluded meetings in Paramaribo on February 11. On Tuesday 15 February the Community Council will meet to discuss several matters that are to be placed before the Heads of Government for their consideration. On Tuesday CARICOM Ministers of Foreign Affairs are also scheduled to participate in a range of meetings including a caucus, a meeting with a delegation from India, an exchange with the Foreign Minister of Brazil and a briefing session with the United Nations Special Representative on Haiti.

President Venetiaan expressed confidence that the week of meetings culminating in the Meeting of Heads of Government will be successful. He recognised the critical role of the chairman and committed to undertaking, along with members of the Government of Suriname, the important functions with which they have been entrusted.

Meanwhile the CARICOM Secretary-General pointed to what he described as the hard work ahead for the Heads of Government and officials who will be participating in the various meetings, but noted that, "the many issues before us are critical for the forward movement and development of the Caribbean Community."

Reflecting on the history of the 31 year-old Regional grouping, Mr. Carrington said no other grouping of developing countries has been in continuous existence for as long as CARICOM which continues to evolve through the collective commitment of its people and leaders. He expressed confidence that the Inter-Sessional Meeting will be fruitful under the leadership of Suriname.

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