The Heads of Government of the fifteen-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be meeting in Georgetown, Guyana this week for the 37th Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference.The conference will be take place between July 4-6 will be the first for newly elected Prime Minister of St. Lucia Allan Chastanet. The current chair is Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica.
The Caribbean Community which comprises fifteen member states and five associate members is facing a confluence of development challenges, many of which will be on the discussion agenda. A top agenda item will be the impact of de-risking practices by international banks which have led to the withdrawal and/or restriction of correspondent banking relationships with several Caribbean financial institutions. The loss of these relationships threaten Caribbean countries’ integration into the global trade and financial systems, with implications for sustainable development, economic growth and stability.
Another issue to be discussed is the result of the British Referendum vote to leave the European Union (BREXIT) and its potential implications for the 12 CARICOM countries which are part of the Commonwealth Caribbean. The UK is a major tourism source market, trade and development partner for Commonwealth Caribbean countries.
According to the press release, other topics to be discussed include the border disputes between Belize-Guatemala and Guyana-Venezuela, as well as security issues. Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, is reported to be attending the Conference.
The full press release from CARICOM may be viewed here: http://caricom.org/media-center/communications/press-releases/security-and-economics-high-agenda-issues-at-37th-heads-of-government-conference-4-6-july-2016-guyana
Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B. is a trade and development consultant with a keen interest in sustainable development, international law and trade. You can also read more of her commentaries and follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw.