Several major issues related to the Caribbean region are expected to be addressed during the 39th Regular Meeting of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Heads of Government in St. James, Jamaica in the coming days.
They include issues such as economic and social advancement, implementation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), crime, disaster management in the face of climate change and measures to stave climate change are some of the key agenda items to be discussed.
Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness will chair the meeting, which is scheduled to take place from July 4 to 6 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, according to the Jamaica Observer.
He is expected to address 33 recommendations aimed at dealing with structural and organizational deficiencies within Caricom outlined in the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica's Relations within the bloc.
Another issue to be discussed deals with Caricom countries facilitating the free movement of people within Caricom, except during security and public-health risks, according to the Jamaica Observer.
Questions related to the CSME will “be undoubtedly, an interesting matter for the Heads (of State) to consider,” said Jamaica's Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith. “Our view is that it might be better for us to focus on the Single Market, which addresses the matter of movement of people, goods, capital, and services.”
She also emphasized that her country will call for the adoption of a performance-based results approach within Caricom and all of its institutions.
Dr. Terri-Ann Gilbert-Roberts, a research fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies and former Caricom youth ambassador, has said young people throughout the region need to play a vital role in sustaining the 15-state regional bloc and that their presence is critical to revitalizing it.
Speaking about the general displeasure the region's youth have with Caricom's lack of transparency, she said, “People don't know exactly what decisions are being taken and they don't know what are the factors that have influenced the lack of implementation of certain things."