KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 16, IWN – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will leave the country on Sunday for Haiti to attend the 24th inter-sessional meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government.
The meeting takes place on Monday and Tuesday.
Elson Crick, communications consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister, said on Friday that Gonsalves will be accompanied by his wife Eloise, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Douglas Slater, Ambassador to the United Nations, Camillo Gonsalves, and the Head of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, Ellsworth John.
Meanwhile, the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana said Friday that crime and security will be the major item considered by the CARICOM heads of government at the meeting.
Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, will participate in discussions to strengthen the Regional Crime and Security Agenda and Architecture, a CARICOM release said.
“The discussions will be taking place against a backdrop of high levels of crime in many of the member states with the use of firearms being of particular concern,” the release further said.
At least nine heads of government will join CARICOM chair, Michel Martelly, president of Haiti, at the Karibe Hotel and Convention Centre for the meeting.
All 15 member states and three of the five associate members will be represented.
“The leaders will also be looking at reform in the Community with emphasis on the progress towards the development of a Strategic Plan for the Community and the Change Process being undertaken at the CARICOM Secretariat. Financial stability and the latest situation with respect to resolving obligations arising out of the collapse of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) and the British American Insurance Company (BAICO) will be considered.
“Matters related to transportation in the Region are also on the agenda as is the question of movement of persons within the Community and improving food safety.
“The leaders will receive an update on the Region’s preparations for the implementation of the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which has implications for the Community’s financial sector in particular. They will also get the latest information on the plans by Suriname to host the 11th edition of the Caribbean Festival of the Arts (CARIFESTA XI) from 16-25 August,” the release said.