Jamaica Hosts CARICOM Heads of Government Conference

Jamaican Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said her country is gearing up to welcome the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) participants to be held next week.

The meeting of the CARICOM leaders will be held in the western capital of Montego Bay hosted by the Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness is set to assume Chairmanship of the conference from today on July 1.

The Jamaican Foreign Minister Johnson Smith said the conference will address several critical issues that impact the economic and social advancement of the countries of the region.

The heads of the member states and other dignitaries will be present in the CARICOM conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“We are honored by it (chairmanship), as it gives us the great chance to play a major role in the development of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and, of course, the general integration movement in line with our development objectives and those of CARICOM member States,” Ms. Smith said.

Ms. Smith said, for the first time in history all 15 Heads of CARICOM and heads of associate members will participate in the conference in Jamaica.

Foreign Minister Smith added: “We take the strong presence as a signal of confidence in Jamaica’s chairmanship as well as, perhaps, a positive and renewed energy and vigor around CARICOM and the potential that it holds for us all.”

The Presidents of Chile and Cuba, Sebastián Piñera, and Miguel Díaz-Canel will brace the conference as special guests while the U.S. Deputy Secretary, John Sullivan, will be hosting a breakfast for foreign ministers on July 6.

“We welcome both Presidents with open arms and look forward to hosting them here…they will both have the opportunity to engage with Heads in that context, and we very much look forward to strengthening our partnerships with both countries,” Foreign Minister Johnson Smith added.

Crime and violence, disaster management and climate change, and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) are assumed to be the key agenda of the conference.


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