The Bahamas proudly hosting CARICOM Heads Summit

Chair of CARICOM and Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Hon. Philip Davis, at the press conference

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – Chairman of CARICOM, Hon. Philip Davis, says The Bahamas is proud to support the organising and hosting of what he described as the “monumental” 44th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, from 15-17 February, 2023.

The Prime Minister of The Bahamas told a press conference on Tuesday, 14 February, the leaders “will focus on the Region’s most pressing issues with the objective of promoting increased collaboration and developing meaningful policy solutions.”

The opening ceremony of the Conference take place this evening at the Baha Mar Resort, where, over the next two days, Heads of Government will be setting the policy agenda for CARICOM.

They are expected to engage special guests including the Prime Minister of Canada, The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau; Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the President and Chairman of the African Export-Import Bank, Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah; and the Executive President of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), Mr. Sergio Díaz-Granados.

During the working sessions, Prime Minister Davis said the Conference will discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, emerging health issues, and the strain on regional health systems.

National security and migration, with specific consideration of the crisis in Haiti, is a priority matter on the agenda, the CARICOM Chairman stated. Noting that Haiti is also a central topic of the engagement with Prime Minister Trudeau, he said the two parties will discuss “the role Canada may be able to play in assisting us with Haiti.”

“We, in CARICOM, have come to appreciate that we do not have the resources to deal with the Haiti problem ourselves and we do need outside help. We are looking to the North for Canada and the United States to come to the fore to help,” the Chairman stated.

He underscored that solutions to the evolving situation in Haiti must be “a Haitian solution, not an America, Canadian or CARICOM solution.”
“We are here to help them find the solution,” Prime Minister Davis emphasised.

Regarding the precipitous migration issue due to the ongoing crisis in Haiti, he said CARICOM is not only concerned about irregular migration but more significantly, the “sometimes dangerous migration” people risk.

Climate change and financing, as well as the role the Bridgetown Initiative can play in generating funds to assist developing nations to adapt to climate change, are also prominent on the agenda.

Prime Minister Davis reiterated that CARICOM welcomes the opportunity to engage with the president of the African Export-Import Bank, the president of the Development Bank of Latin America, and the Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

“These leaders will provide valuable insights that will support our solution-focused discussions,” CARICOM Chairman stated.

He informed the media that CARICOM Heads will receive a video message from the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as he continues to “drum up support for the fight in the unnecessary war that is going on in his country.”

“He is going to update us on what is happening and what is likely to happen, and continue to seek our support for their efforts to stop what is going on in the Ukraine,” Prime Minister Davis added.

Expressing optimism on the success of the 44th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, the Chairman said, “through this gathering of minds, we have an opportunity for the Region’s leaders to unite for the benefit of the entire Caribbean.”

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