CARICOM Chairman engages key stakeholders during Guyana visit

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CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, paid a visit to Guyana on Monday during which, among other things, she engaged CARICOM Secretariat staff and was awarded the Order of Roraima by the President of Guyana.

The Chairman was met on arrival in Guyana by Foreign Minister Dr Karen Cummings and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

The Chairman signs condolence book for the late Brynmor Pollard SC
Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque signs the Book of Condolences

The Chairman and Secretary-General then journeyed to the Smith Memorial Congregational Church where the funeral was being held for Guyanese legal luminary Mr Brymor Pollard, and signed the Book of Condolence at the church.   Secretary-General LaRocque, in an earlier tribute, had described Mr Pollard’s service to the Caribbean Community as ‘distinguished and exemplary’ and said the CARICOM Secretariat and the Region were heavily indebted to Mr Pollard for his considerable legal skills which he brought to bear in drafting many of the instruments that helped to frame Community law during his 16 years at the Secretariat, first as a consultant, then as Legal Counsel and the first General Counsel in 1994.

The CARICOM Chairman then addressed staff at the Secretariat, stressing the importance of the work of the Community and its Secretariat to the Region’s development and the delivery of benefits to the people. She promised a further engagement with Staff during the month of March.

Secretariat-Staff listening attentively to the Chairman

Next was the Investiture Ceremony at the Ministry of the Presidency, where President David Granger conferred the Order of Roraima on Prime Minister Mottley. The award comes as Guyana marks its 50th anniversary of becoming a Republic.  The Ceremony was attended by Guyana’s Prime Minister Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, Foreign Minister Cummings, Minister of State Ms Dawn Hastings-Williams, Barbados’ Attorney-General Mr Dale Marshall, Secretary-General LaRocque, and CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary-General for Foreign and Community Relations Ambassador Colin Granderson.

President David Granger congratulates Prime Minister Mottley after she was bestowed with the Order of Roraima

The Chairman and Secretary-General then paid a Courtesy Call on the Leader of the Opposition and his team, at his Office.

The Chairman and Secretary-General meet with Opposition Leader Mr Bharrat Jagdeo (2nd right) and his team

The Chairman and Secretary-General meeting with Opposition Leader Mr Bharrat Jagdeo (2nd right) and his teamThe visits to the President and Leader of the Opposition come in the run-up to Guyana’s General Elections scheduled for 2 March 2020.

The Chairman and Secretary-General also met with several private sector representatives, including Mr Timothy Tucker, Senior Vice President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI); GCCI Member Mr Richard Rambarran, and Mr Gerry Gouveira, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission.

The regional private sector is expected to be represented at the upcoming Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in Barbados on the 18-19 February for discussions on regional development, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Heads of Government, at their last Meeting in July 2019 in St. Lucia, welcomed the progress made by the private sector towards the establishment of a regional private sector body – CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) to be designated an Associate Institution of the Community.  The Heads had earlier agreed, at a Special Meeting on the CSME in Trinidad and Tobago in 2018, to  have a formalized, structured mechanism to facilitate dialogue between the Councils of the Community and the private sector and labour.

The Chairman, Secretary-General and senior Secretariat Officials at the Press Conference

The CARICOM Chairman ended her visit with a Press Conference at which she underscored the important work of the Community – pointing in particular to the collaboration, earlier that day, among CARICOM Ministers of Health on a joint regional response to the region’s concerns about the corona virus; and the crime and security concerns among Member States.

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