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28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of Caricom heads hailed a success

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By Stacy Carmichael-James

The recently concluded 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community was this afternoon (Friday, February 17, 2017) hailed a success by its Chairman and President of Guyana, David Granger.

At a closing press conference held at the Marriott Hotel Kingston, Georgetown, the CARICOM chairman, Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque and Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell all agreed that the discussions were fruitful, but it was acknowledged that there is some amount a slothfulness as it relates to the implementation of certain policies.

President Granger said the Heads of Government all agreed to the review of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the issue of the free movement of skilled persons throughout the region was ventilated.

Mr. Granger said every citizen “must count” and has the right to be treated well regardless of which Caricom country he or she resides. There should be no inferiority in any jurisdiction, the Guyanese Leader stressed.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Grenada’s Prime Minister, who pointed to the need for an integrated and cheaper form of transport within the region to allow for greater contact among the citizens of the region. He highlighted a nexus between increased travel and the development of regional tourism.

Secretary-General LaRocque informed that a CARICOM-Cuba Trade Agreement which seeks to expand the trade market was agreed to and would be ready for signatures by March when the leaders meet again.

In addition, the issue of crime in the region was highlighted as a critical matter which needs to be tackled holistically, a draft road map for the creation of a single ICT space; drug demand reduction and strengthening of the regional financial system were all discussed.

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