A CARICOM Secretariat statement said that the “historic” meeting will be addressed by the host head of state, President Michel Martelly, St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and the CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque.
The CARICOM Secretariat said that crime and security will be the major item to be considered by the leaders and that as part of their discussion to strengthen the Regional Crime and Security Agenda and Architecture, United States Attorney General Eric Holder will participate in the meeting.
“The discussions will be taking place against a backdrop of high levels of crime in many of the member states with the use of firearms being of particular concern,” the statement said, noting that the leaders will also be looking at reform in the Community with emphasis on the progress towards the development of a Strategic Plan for the Community and the Change Process being undertaken at the CARICOM Secretariat.
“Financial stability and the latest situation with respect to resolving obligations arising out of the collapse of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) and the British American Insurance Company (BAICO) will be considered, It said, adding that matters related to transportation in the region are also on the agenda as is the question of movement of persons within the Community and improving food safety.
The leaders will receive an update on the region’s preparations for the implementation of the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which has implications for the Community’s financial sector in particular.
The two-day meeting will also receive the latest information on the plans by Suriname to host the 11th edition of the Caribbean Festival of the Arts (CARIFESTA XI) from 16-25 August.
The meeting will be the first ever held by CARICOM leaders in the French-speaking country, now recovering from a powerful earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.
President Martelly will serve as chairman of the 15-member grouping for the next six months.
At least nine of the 15 leaders will attend the summit. Absent will be Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and his Barbados counterpart, Freundel Stuart.
Both men are leading their respective political parties into general elections on February 19 and 21 respectively.
Reprinted from CanaNews