PM Douglas leads three-person delegation to CARICOM Inter-Sessional

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE,ST. KITTS, MARCH 7TH 2012 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister The Right Honourable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is leading a three-person delegation to this week’s 23rd Inter-Sessional Conference of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government.

Dr. Douglas is accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Officer, Her Excellency Astona Browne and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Elvis Newton.

The meeting in Suriname on Thursday and Friday is to discuss a crisp agenda, which has among its priorities, the Landell Mills review of the CARICOM Secretariat and the strategic direction of the 15-memberCommunity.

The report titled, “Turning around CARICOM: Proposals to restructure the Secretariat,” is the result of a review commissioned by Heads of Government at their Thirty-First Regular Meeting held in Jamaica, July 2010.

Under the chairmanship of Suriname’s President His Excellency Desiré Delano Bouterse, the Conference of Heads of Government will discuss recommendations contained in the Report to restructure its principal administrative body, the Guyana-based Secretariat.

To facilitate a robust discussion, the Community Council of Ministers will meet on Wednesday prior to the Heads of Government Conference to discuss the Report in detail and make recommendations for the Conference to consider.

The restructuring of the CARICOM Secretariat will be done within the context of the Community’s vision, strategic direction and priorities.

The ongoing discussions on this issue, began at last year’s Inter-Sessional meeting in Grenada and continued at a Special Retreat last May in Guyana as well as at the 32nd Regular Meeting of the Conference in St. Kitts and Nevis last July.

A special guest at the Meeting will be the President of Chile, His Excellency Sebastián Piñera Echenique.

President Piñera is the Pro tempore President of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Chile will also be the host of the next Summit of the European Union and Latin American and Caribbean (EU-LAC) countries scheduled for early 2013.

In light of the persistent high rates of crime and violence plaguing several Member States within the Community, Heads of Government will again examine developments related to the regional Crime and Security Agenda in an effort to arrest this trend.

The thorny issue of the governance of cricket at the national, regional and international levels is another agenda item. Discussions will be conducted against the backdrop of a continuous public debate on the matter.

Issues of sustainable development, including climate change, joint economic ventures for the establishment of CARICOM enterprises; regional air transportation and matters affecting Community relations, particularly CARICOM support to Haiti will also occupy the attention of the Community’s leaders.

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