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  • CARICOM Heads were meeting in caucus on Tuesday afternoon - day-one of their Inter-Sessional Meeting in Barbados.

    CARICOM Heads were meeting in caucus on Tuesday afternoon - day-one of their Inter-Sessional Meeting in Barbados. | Photo: @CARICOMorg

Published 19 February 2020
Opinion

For two days, the meeting discussed the main challenges the Caribbean Community must face in 2020.

It is everyone's task to build a resilient Caribbean Community, agreed the region's Heads of State attending the 31st Caricom Meeting, which concludes this Wednesday in Barbados, the host country of the event.

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The deliberations of the two-day meeting are taking place against a backdrop of global uncertainty, including growing threats to multilateralism, the spread of tensions and volatility stemming from unresolved conflicts and the acceleration of the devastating effects of climate change, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said on Tuesday.

This reality "demands that we act collectively to overcome the obstacles we face. The international environment is increasingly hostile and demands more than ever that we come together to secure and promote our interests as a Community," LaRocque said.

That is why curbing crime and violence, and ensuring the security of each country in the region are the themes of this 31st meeting in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados.

"Maximizing the use of technologies for our development with innovation and the dynamism of young people, combating crime and violence with the contribution of ideas and actions from civil society, and successfully conducting trade negotiations with third countries are our greatest challenges in this 2020," said the Secretary-General on the first day of the event.

LaRocque added that securing our financial sector, safeguarding our fiscal sovereignty, protecting the health of our people, and expanding our reach abroad are imperatives for the region in the new year.

"We must all do our part to prevent the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases and the spread of the global viruses that threaten to engulf us. 

The latest of these, the coronavirus, "has been deadly, claiming over a thousand lives worldwide so far and proving difficult to contain," he reflected, noting that no cases have been reported in CARICOM of the deadly virus that had its outbreak in China in late 2019.

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